HomeAboutHistoryIn memory of Vladimir Feygin

In memory of Vladimir Feygin

This memorial section of the site is dedicated to one of the founders and the second President (in 2011–2020) of our Institute, Vladimir Isaakovich Feigin (1946–2020) — a famous mathematician and economist, who significantly contributed to the gas industry’s development in the USSR and Russia, elaboration of the methods for analysis and forecasting world energy, establishment and developing the Russia’s energy diplomacy and Russia’s energy dialogue with European countries and the European Union.

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Vladimir Feygin was born in Moscow on January 10, 1946. He graduated from the faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics of Moscow State University in 1967 and held a Doctorate in Physics and Mathematical Science in 1971. After graduating, Vladimir Feigin wanted to continue fundamental mathematical research. But he was refused employment everywhere, solely based on his Jewish origin (state anti-Semitism flourished in the USSR at this time). He was forced to choose the Institute of Economics and management of the Ministry of gas industry (Vniiegazprom) as his main job. He worked at this Institute for almost 35 years, from 1970 to 2004. However, for another 15 years, he continued to study pure mathematics in his spare time, and during this time, published more than 20 articles in the best Soviet mathematical journals. His areas of mathematical interest were smoothness of solutions to elliptic and parabolic equations and spectral theory.

At Vniiegazprom, Feygin quickly became one of the leading employees in the long- and medium-term planning of gas flows in the gas pipeline system, flow modeling, and pipeline expansion projects analysis. His role in the scientific justification of the development and optimization of the USSR and post-Soviet countries' unified gas supply system is, without exaggeration, great and still needs to be understood.

A new turning point in his life occurred around 1990. Vladimir Feygin was one of the first in the Soviet Union (whether by himself or under the influence of Alexander Arbatov) to feel the prospects and significance of open international cooperation for developing the Russian and European gas industry. And he became one of its pioneers, significantly influencing the content, forms, and style of this new, previously unthinkable interaction. In 1990 Vladimir became the Executive Director of the private research center ENGO, created to coordinate multilateral and international research projects on the Russian energy sector. In the 1990s, ENGO carried out many outstanding research projects, working in close collaboration with Hardcastle & Co Ltd and John R. Lacey International Ltd.

The main result of the ENGO’s activity was the emergence of confidence in the Russian gas industry on European and North American businesses. The country’s gas industry, Russian gas transportation system, and resource base have ceased to be a «black box» for Western companies and financial organizations. Vladimir Feygin proved high reliability and good prospects for Russian gas production, transport, and export with well-established Western researchers. The practical result of this was that Gazprom received significantly more attractive and unsecured conditions for external financing. The results of this work were also favorable for expanding Russian gas exports to European countries. They also formed the basis of the emerging Energy dialogue between Russia and the European Union.

His entire future career, in the 1990–2010s, was mainly associated with the development of international relations, building a complex multilateral dialogue between governments, energy companies, investors, financial institutions, and experts.

In addition to international activities, in 2004–2008, Vladimir was the Board Deputy Chairman of the Russian non-commercial corporation 'Gas Market Coordinator.' The Coordinator’s goal was to develop a program to transition to free gas pricing in the domestic market, rules for the market, mechanisms for their implementation, and a methodology for calculating tariffs for gas transportation services.

The main result of this work was the launch of electronic gas trading on the Gazprom site in 2007, which later in October 2014 led to gas exchange trading on the St. Petersburg International Commodity exchange. Vladimir Feygin can rightly be called one of the initiators and leading scientific consultants of gas exchange trading in Russia.

One of the main and favorite areas of Vladimir Feygin’s activity in the 2000s and 2010s was the development of Russia’s foreign energy policy in the gas sector and its active support at the expert level. He was one of the keys and most well-known Russian experts of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue.

In 2004–2007, Vladimir Feygin was one of the leading participants in the EU-Russia bilateral consultations on resolving differences in the Energy Charter Treaty transit issues. Since 2010, he had been an active participant in Informal consultations between the EU and Russian experts on implementing the EU’s Third Energy Package.

Since 2008 Vladimir Feigin was a member of the Thematic Group on energy markets and strategies for the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue. In 2011, he became a permanent co-speaker on the Russian side of the Gas Advisory Council under the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue and the Russian head of the GAC Working group on energy scenarios and forecasts.

In addition to the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue’s official formats, purely expert and private initiatives were no less significant. These include the so-called Baden-Baden group or WIEN Group (it means World Independent Energy Network), which work in 2007–2011 with Vladimir’s active participation.

Many years later, using the WIEN experience, Vladimir Feygin created in 2018 his last but not least international project — the expert and analytical platform «Energy Initiatives." It continues broad activity at present.

Europe was not the only focus of Vladimir Feygin’s diplomatic efforts. Already in the 1990s, he was interested in energy cooperation with China. His contacts with China have intensified many times since he started working in 2012 at Rosneft. The development of relations with China was and still is one of the keys to Rosneft’s strategic priorities. In the 2010s. Feigin and the Institute for Energy and Finance headed by him participated in numerous consultations with colleagues from leading Chinese scientific institutions.

In the 2010s, Vladimir also paid great attention to Russia’s expert relations with OPEC, the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries, the International Energy Agency, the International Energy Forum, and other international organizations.

Vladimir Feygin’s interaction with North American experts was also relatively active. It is characteristic that he made his last working trip to New York, where on March 7, 2019, he took part in a seminar at Columbia University. Particularly close in the last few years was his relationship with Edward Morse, global head of commodity markets research at Citigroup, who became one of the most active participants in the Energy Initiatives platform.

In 2004, Feygin became one of the founders and Chief Director of the Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation (FIEF), headed energy research. In 2011, he became President of the Institute and headed it until the end of his life. The presidency of Vladimir Feygin (from January 2011 to January 2020) was a time of rapid development of the Institute, to a certain extent, its «Golden years.»

FIEF played a major role in maintaining and developing Russian energy expert diplomacy. It became the main developer of the General Scheme for the Russian oil industry development up to 2035 and the Concept of forming the EAEU common gas market. In 2015–2017, the Institute implemented a unique project to create an integrated and interconnected system of models for the Russian oil industry’s strategic development. In addition to energy issues, FIEF carried out a whole range of work in various sectors of the economy, from mechanical engineering to agriculture; research on financial markets and monetary policy developed into a separate area. On the personal initiative of Vladimir Feygin, since 2015, the Institute has been organizing major international congress and exhibition events in the oil and gas industry, risk management, and development of human resources in the fuel and energy sector.

For the last eight years, Vladimir has deeply engaged in the world oil market analysis and the Russian oil industry’s development. In June 2012, he became an adviser to Igor Sechin — the head of the biggest Russian oil company Rosneft. In these years, FIEF became one of Rosneft’s key think tanks, especially in analyzing international oil and energy markets.

For six years, starting from June 2012 to June 2018, he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the System Operator of the Unified Energy System (JSC SO UES) — a specialized organization solely carrying out centralized dispatching in the Russian Unified Energy System.

Since 2017 Vladimir represented Russia in the Program Committee of the World Petroleum Council. He participated in preparing the 23rd World Petroleum Congress and the 6th WPC Youth Forum, which was first held in Russia, in St. Petersburg, in June 2019.

Vladimir Feygin did not create a traditional scientific school and did not leave behind followers in the conventional sense. Perhaps, because, unlike many of his colleagues, he almost did not engage in University education.

However, as one can see from the memories included in this book, many people have considered it an honor to recognize themselves as his followers and colleagues. He created a genuine creative atmosphere of free search, unshored analysis, meaningful, non-mechanical forecasting. Owning all the mathematical tools and being a professional mathematician, he appreciated, first of all, the ideological richness of the expressed thought, the presence of new content in it, and not a narrowly scientific form.

In our opinion, the legacy that Vladimir Feygin left behind is his approaches to economic analysis and forecasting, his ideas about the theory and practice of energy diplomacy, the manner of conducting complex bilateral and multilateral discussions and negotiations, ways to achieve almost unattainable compromises, and, finally, the human warmth and cordiality that always emanated from him — along with raising his children and deep scientific achievements in mathematics and Economics of the gas industry.

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Memory book

Neravnodushnyi chelovek. Kniga pamyati V.I. Feygina: vospominaniya, biogra fi ya, arkhivnye dokumenty, izbrannye publikatsii     [A Man Who Cared. Remembering Vladimir I. Feygin: memoires, biography, archival documents, selected publications] / Ed. by Alexey Belogoryev and Andrey Konoplyanik. Moskva: Izdatelstvo Ves Mir, 2020. P. 528.

The book was published in late 2020. 

The presentation took place on 19 January 2021.


‘Vladimir Feygin was among the most distinguished analysts of the energy industry and energy markets in both their Russian and international context. He made a major contribution to the understanding of how the energy world was changing. He was respected not only in Russia but around the world for his insight, analytic skills, and objectivity. These were complemented by his curiosity and open-mindedness. He was always observing what was new and what was changing and incorporating that into his outlook. I was privileged to participate with him in numerous occasions in seminars and conferences, and I always paid very close attention to what he said and his perspectives. For one always learned from him. He was one of the leading members of the international community of energy scholars and analysts, and his presence and the power of his thinking will be much missed.’
Daniel Yergin
‘Vladimir was a leading figure in the world of energy projections and strategic analysis, alert to new risks and pitfalls in a fast-changing energy world as well as durable sources of advantage and opportunity. His interventions were always considered and carefully explained - well illustrated during the consultations on transit under the Energy Charter Treaty. These were a test of endurance and creativity for all concerned, and Vladimir was tireless in seeking ways to thread the needle. He was a strategic thinker in the best sense, in that while defending his point of view he was always alive to the possibilities for mutual gains’.
Tim Gould
‘Vladimir was by all measures a brilliant energy and economics expert who shaped the intellectual face of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue. It was always about conveying the most complex issues in the simplest, clearest and elegant terms. I remain to this day impressed by the breadth of his expertise which contributed in a large measure to the success of this Dialogue during the first decade of this century. I still remember the treasured conversations we had during this period on all subjects even the most controversial. We started as colleagues and ended up as friends’.
Christian Cleutinx
‘Thinking back of the years that I have known Vladimir, the feature that strikes me most is his modesty. There is no doubt … that Vladimir will be remembered as the great man that he was. And yet, despite his authoritative knowledge and very significant achievements, he was never one to put himself in the foreground. Rather, he was always willing to share from his vast expertise and experience in the most friendly way possible … ‘A great man is always willing to be little’. This description (a quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson) of the essence of modesty certainly applied to Vladimir. He truly was an inspiration to all of us. He will be remembered and will continue to have a place in our hearts’.
Wim Groenendijk


Full bibliography of Vladimir Feygin (in Russian)

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