Western Sanctions: The Impact on Russia's Oil and Gas Sector
The USSR was the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world by the early 1980s surpassing the United States and Saudi Arabia with production from the giant fields in western Siberia. The \'new Russia\' remains the world leader in crude oil production and is currently second in natural gas production.1 Russia's economic growth is driven by energy exports, given its high oil and natural gas production. Russia was, in 2018, the world's top exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of crude oil.2 These facts illustrate the major role played by oil, gas and the rest of the energy sector in the new Russian economy. destabilization nor price shocks have been caused. However, in the future, they are capable of jeopardizing Russia's production of gas and oil. The sanctions could gradually crowd Russia out of external markets and thereby narrow its chances for receiving export profits. Export of goods and services generated nearly 30% of Russia's GDP in 2017.6 Losing such a significant income to the state budget could undermine the stability of its national economy. This scenario can also seriously slow the development of export pipeline infrastructure, where Russia plays an important role. The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was signed by US President Donald Trump in August 2017,~7 expands the application of the sanctions to export pipelines. It is thereby causing problems for the Russian gas sector, as well. After consultations with European partners, the US president can impose sanctions blocking any operation worth more than 5 million dollars a year that provides equipment and services for the construction of new gas pipelines and the maintenance of old ones in case the pipelines threaten US national interests. The Act also contains the commitment to introduce restrictions on individuals investing over 250 million dollars in Russian energy projects and on entities delivering goods, services, capital or technologies with the aim of supporting Russian oil projects.8 However, the document has not specified the notion of \'energy project\'. As a result, it will be possible to consider them in a much broader way as well as it enables the imposition of restrictions on such investments as the production of solar panels or geological exploration of hydrocarbons. In addition, the Act provides for the introduction of penalties for entities that would violate the sanctions regime as well as calls for coordinating US sanctions with restrictions imposed by the European Union. Russia's agreement to cooperate with OPEC and support its oil price policy as well as cooperation with Turkey9 on the new gas pipeline project have helped Russia to mitigate some of the negative impacts of sanctions. Finishing of the gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 would also be beneficial, but the possibility of imposing sanctions on Western oil and gas companies involved in Nord Stream from the US site makes launching Nord Stream 2 in the nearest future even more difficult. According to CAATSA, only energy projects initiated after August 2017 shall be sanctioned and that is why Nord Stream 2 should be excluded from this legislation. However, basic contracts and agreements for Nord Strem 2 signed prior to August 2017, but additional agreements, e.g., for new loans or investments, negotiated after that period would be subject to sanctions. Russia's conflictual relationship with Ukraine is also an obstacle for gas transit to Europe. To further increase export volumes, Russia must either solve the difficult situation with Nord Stream 2 or increase gas transit through Ukraine, which is for political reasons currently not predicted. The Russian energy sector has adapted to the sanctions regime. Thanks to external factors (e.g., the devaluation of the ruble), Russia avoided a production decrease and experienced record growth. Figure 1 shows Russia's oil production growth since 2008. Oil production in Russia is hitting records and the production growth in 2017 was its highest in recent years, even though Russia agreed with OPEC to cut production.10 Regarding gas production, despite political tensions, Russia's gas exports to Europe, according to Gazprom, reached a record high in 2018. Despite the fact that the EU wants to diversify its supply sources and reduce its dependence on Russia, Gazprom, Russia's monopoly on exports through gas pipelines, covers about one-third of European gas consumption.11......
【作者名称】: Monika Kochajdova
【作者单位】: Department of International Economic Relations, Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics, Slovak Republic
【关 键 词】: Western Sanctions: The Impact on Russia's Oil and Gas Sector
【期刊名称】: Geopolitics of Energy
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