Christopher Granville, Trusted Sources. 26 April 2007

Provides an overview of the increasing state control of the Russian oil and gas sectors in terms of its history and causes, examples, and implications. In relation to gas, drivers have been external and geopolitical, with Gazprom’s export monopoly becoming statutory in 2006. For oil, drivers were domestic and political, reflecting the role of the oligarchs and the ‘privatisation of the state’, with a requirement put on oligarchs in 2003 to ‘put’ to the state. In addition, internal policy moved towards restricting the role of foreign players, as well as restricting domestic private-sector players. Examples of the impact of these changes are provided through case studies including: Shell’s involvement in Sakhalin-2; the Kharyaga oil project (Timan-Pechora); the Shtokman Barnet Sea gas project; and the Kovykta gas development project to deliver gas from East Siberia to China. The implications of these changes include: power and rent-seeking; state assets being used as bargaining chips; and reduced competition, transparency, efficiency.

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