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  • Russia as a global energy supplier (Chapter in the study "Sustainable Development in Russia")

    Kondratiev S. V. Agibalov S. V.
    IEF Economic Review,
    16 April 2014

    Sustainable Development in Russia (pdf)

    edited by Sergei Bobylev and Renat Perelet

    The study into sustainable development in Russia, published by the German-Russian Exchange Berlin and the Russian-German Bureau for Environmental Information and prepared by a team of three editors and over 20 authors from different regions of Russia. The study includes a variety of topics, from a review of the political, legal and institutional frameworks for the development of a “green economy” in Russia, to concrete practices of separate waste collection, the development of renewable energy sources and aspects of environmental education. We tried to look at the process of sustainable development in Russia from diff erent perspectives, including the political and economic background, the legal situation, existing practices of sustainable development and how environmental information circulated, including journalism and education on sustainable development. The result is a broad study, which includes a collection of articles written by both theorists and practitioners of sustainable development in Russia.


     6. 1. Russia as a global energy supplier and Russia’s role in global energy security issues  

    Sergey Agibalov, Sergey Kondratyev

    The Russian energy sector has undergone significant changes since the 2000s. Some of these changes are visible to the naked eye, but many are only evident to those working in the sector and analysts. Nevertheless, energy consumers can fully appreciate the scale of this change. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the number of gas stations has almost doubled and many of them have evolved from basic gas stations to modern retail and service centres. Meanwhile, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas shipments has been more obvious and has provided a very unique insight into the problems of international energy security. The rapid growth in oil retail is the best reflection of the fact that the oil sector has been the conduit of the key changes in the Russian energy sector and allowed Russia to maintain its status as the world’s largest energy supplier. After the recession of the 1990s, reinforced by the crisis of 1998/1999, oil production in Russia fell to 304.8 million mt in 1999. In 2012 oil production in Russia reached 526 million mt, 1.7 times higher than volumes during the crisis. Thanks to the dynamic growth of production in Russia, it accounted for 12.8% of global oil production in 2012. Because of variations in production dynamics in different sectors – oil, gas and coal – Russia's.

    Because of variations in production dynamics in different sectors – oil, gas and coal – Russia's share of global energy production remained practically unchanged in the 2000s and is currently a little over 11%. At the same time, against the backdrop of large-scale growth in global energy consumption, which rose 1.4 times between 1999 and 2012, Russia has had to increase production to maintain the same share in global production. Russia's role as a major energy supplier to the world market confirms the correlation between the size of the economy (3% of world GDP) and the amount of energy produced (11% of fossil fuels).

    Although fossil fuel markets are mostly markets of competing fuels, they have some significantly different characteristics, so we will focus on development trends for the key fuels – oil and gas. The coal market is also important in the global energy mix, but it plays a significantly less important role in the world of international relations than oil and gas and has a largely subordinate role. Less than 5% of world energy trade is in coal, while crude oil accounts more than half and natural gas – 13%. Russia is a leading producer of coal, providing more than 4% of world production and 10% of world exports, making it the fourth largest exporter in the world. At the same time, trends in the coal sector are on the whole determined by trends in the oil and gas sector and because of this we will look at those markets in depth. 

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