Petroleum industry in Russia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russia natural gas production (red) and exports (black).
Russian crude oil production (red) and crude oil exports (black).

The Petroleum or oil industry in Russia is one of the largest in the world. Russia has the largest reserves and was the largest exporter of natural gas.[1] It has the sixth largest oil reserves, and is one of the largest producers of oil.[2] It is the fourth largest energy user.[3]

In 2009, Russia produced 12% of the world's oil and had a similar share of global oil exports.[4] Russia produced an average of 10.83 million barrels (1,722,000 m3) of oil per day in December 2015.[5]

In June 2006, Russian crude oil and condensate production reached the post-Soviet maximum of 9.7 million barrels (1,540,000 m3) per day. Exceeding production in 2000 by 3.2 Mbbl/d (510,000 m3/d). Russian exports consist of more than 5 Mbbl/d (790,000 m3/d) of oil and nearly 2 Mbbl/d (320,000 m3/d) of refined products, which go mainly to the European market. The domestic demand in 2005 was 2.6 Mbbl/d (410,000 m3/d) on average.[6] It is also the main transit country for oil from Kazakhstan.

Until 2022 Russia was by far the world's largest natural gas exporter. Most, but not all, authorities believe that Russia has the world's largest proven reserves of natural gas. Sources indicating Russia have the largest proven reserves including the US Energy Information Administration (47.8 tcm),[7] and OPEC (48.7 tcm).[8]


As of 2008, the Russian oil industry claims to be in need of huge investments.[9] Strong growth in the Russian economy means that local demand for all types of energy sources (oil, gas, nuclear, coal, hydro, electricity) continues to grow.

Russia has seen extracting oil and gas from the Arctic region as important, especially for the Liquefied natural gas industry in Russia which was given a major boost from 2017 with investment and tax incentives, mainly to Novatek, however foreign investors pulled out in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with technology and key machinery essential for the operations coming under sanctions.

Since 2022[edit]

The Russian invasion of Ukraine started with Russia restricting gas supplies to Europe to try to stop assistance going to Ukraine. It resulted in the closure of Nord Stream 1, the refusal to activate Nord Stream 2, the closure of the pipeline through Poland and the reduction of gas in the pipeline through Ukraine. It did not succeed and gave Gasprom severe economic problems.[10]

Sanctions were imposed by the USA, the EU and other nations, to forbid or reduce the importation of Gas, Oil and associated products from Russia,[11] including the introduction of a novel price cap on crude shipped oil, designed to allow Russia to maintain production but limiting the revenue from oil sales. From 5 December 2022 the price cap is set at USD60 per barrel.[12] This was followed in 2023 with sanctions and a price cap on Russian oil products, and the EU introduced sanctions on natural gas.

As part of the sanctions, an embargo of importing ship borne Russian crude and refined oil was introduced by the EU, G7 countries and Australia beginning in December 2022, with a few exceptions for a limited time period.[13][14]

In May 2023 Lukoil completed the sale of its Priolo Gargallo refinery in Sicily, as it was no longer able to import Russian crude oil and the plant was configured to only process the Russian Ural grade oil.[15] In October 2023 Bulgaria is trying to force Lukoil to sell its Lukoil Neftohim Burgas refinery.[16]

A US Treasury report in May 2023 highlighted that Russian oil exports were continuing to rise, providing stability in the world market, as planned, whilst Russia's revenue was being restrained by the price cap to $5-6 billion per month, compared with $8-15 billion a month in 2022. Russia has changed their tax rules to levy more tax on oil producers to help offset falling revenue, to the detriment of investment. Market participants and geopolitical analysts now acknowledge that the price cap is accomplishing both of its goals.[17]

Gas production in Russia has fallen, as gas exports which in 2021 were 185bcm, have fallen in 2023 by around 70% with the loss of the European market.[18]

Russia has sought means to get around the sanctions including investing heavily in hundreds of old tankers, to transport crude oil to new markets in the far east, especially China and India, to replace lost European markets.[19] G7 Sanctions keep being adapted to restrict Russia's options and keep Russia's revenues below the $60 per barrel price cap level for crude oil whilst keeping the oil flowing.

In December 2023 the Russian government ordered oil and gas producers to install anti drone protection at their installations, to ward off Ukrainian drone attacks.[20] In January 2024, Ukrainian drone strikes hit at least four oil and gas terminals across Russia, including the Tuapse oil terminal on the Black Sea coast and the Ust-Luga oil terminal on the Baltic Sea coast. Ukrainian journalist Illia Ponomarenko said that "Russia finances its military from oil exports. You can’t persuade countries like India and China to stop buying it. So you knock out Russian oil refineries."[21]

Transneft, who pumps 90% of Russian oil reported that 2023 crude oil exports were:

  • China via pipeline 40 million tons -no change
  • Black Sea via tankers 30m tons +3.1%
  • Baltic Primorsk via tankers 44.4m tons +6.5%
  • Baltic Ust-Luga via tankers 34m tons +9.0%
  • Pacific Kozmino via tankers 42.8m tons +9.4%
  • Druzhba pipeline to Europe ~10m tons -60.0%

Overall exports were down 6.5% in 2023 and over 90% of sales went to China and India[22]

Russia's oil and gas companies[edit]

The biggest Russian oil company is Rosneft followed by Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, Gazprom Neft and Tatneft.[23] All oil trunk pipelines (except Caspian Pipeline Consortium) are owned and operated by the state-owned monopoly Transneft and oil products pipeline are owned and operated by its subsidiary Transnefteproduct.

Academic institutions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overland, Indra. "The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Gazprom Encounters EU Regulation". In Anderson, Svein; Goldthau, Andreas; Sitter, Nick (eds.). "Energy Union: Europe's New Liberal Mercantilism?". Blasingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 115–130.
  2. ^ "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020" (PDF). 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  3. ^ "World Power consumption | Electricity consumption | Enerdata". Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  4. ^ Key World Energy Statistics. 2006 Edition Archived 12 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, International Energy Agency 2006
  5. ^ Russia continues to post record oil production Retrieved on 8 January 2016
  6. ^ Woodruff, Yulia (2006). "Russian oil industry between state and market". Fundamentals of the global oil and gas industry, 2006. Petroleum Economist. ISBN 978-1-86186-266-2.
  7. ^ US Energy Information Administration, International statistics, retrieved 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ OPEC, Table 3.2 Natural gas proven reserves by country Archived 27 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 1 December 2013.
  9. ^ 'Threat' to future of Russia oil - Lukoil, April 2008.
  10. ^ "Gazprom plans complicated by second-quarter net loss". 1 September 2023.
  11. ^ "What are the sanctions on Russia and are they hurting its economy?". BBC News. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  12. ^ "EU agrees to impose price cap on Russian oil". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  13. ^ "West implements price caps on Russian oil products as Moscow vows to safeguard interests". Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  14. ^ "OFAC Guidance on Implementation of the Price Cap Policy for Crude Oil of Russian Federation Origin". 22 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Lukoil completes the sale of its 320 kb/d oil refinery in Sicily". 9 May 2023.
  16. ^ "Bulgaria imposes taxes to force out Russian energy companies". 17 October 2023.
  17. ^ "The Price Cap on Russian Oil: A Progress Report". 18 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Russia is losing the energy war as Putin's winter gas attack backfires". 15 April 2023.
  19. ^ "A mysterious Indian firm likely tied to Russia's Rosneft amassed an enormous tanker fleet in just 18 months and has become a top shipper of Russian crude, report says". 5 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Russian players urged to build arsenals at oil and gas installations". 29 December 2023.
  21. ^ "Ukraine levels up the fight with drone strikes deep into Russia". The Guardian. 27 January 2024.
  22. ^ "Transneft pipeline oil exports down 6.5% in 2023". 16 January 2024.
  23. ^ LUKoil to lose the lead soon. Rosneft will become Russia's leading oil producer in 2007, Analytical department of RIA RosBusinessConsulting

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