James Henderson, Alastair Ferguson (auth.)'s International Partnership in Russia: Conclusions from the PDF

By James Henderson, Alastair Ferguson (auth.)

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Extra info for International Partnership in Russia: Conclusions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Sample text

81 The prominence of the security services in particular in the world of business “in private and state-owned companies”, is re-iterated by Schneider (2012), while Inozemtsev (2009) claims that no other country in the world has so many members of the government serving on the boards of major corporations. A further twist to the tale of vested interests in Russian business, and in particular in the oil and gas sector, is highlighted by Pirani (2010) who identifies that “a significant trend in the 2000s has been the success in private business of some of Putin’s associates”.

In fact, as has been documented by many oil companies, analysts and academic commentators,85 the key factor behind the deceleration in growth has been the imminent end of the era of the “brownfield miracle” in Russia and the transition to the development of greenfield sites both onshore and offshore. In essence the Soviet legacy fields in West Siberia, that went into decline so sharply in the 1990s and were resuscitated so profitably in the first decade of the 2000s, are now finally succumbing to the laws of nature and are in decline again, this time for good.

This effectively encouraged a focus on investing to meet short-term goals rather than planning for longer-term optimization of assets and meant that the only response to a stagnation of oil production was a huge increase in investment. This was precisely the response of the Brezhnev government in 1977, when a massive increase in development drilling was combined with a significant shift of emphasis towards Western Siberia. 27 Essentially the Soviet authorities lost sight of the need for investment in the efficient long-term development of their hydrocarbon resources, instead spending huge sums on short-term projects in a desperate drive to sustain immediate revenues.

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