Russia Oil and Gas Overview
Russia holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the second-largest coal reserves, and the ninth-largest crude oil reserves.
Russia is a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas and its economy largely depends on energy exports. Russia’s economic growth continues to be driven by energy exports given its high oil and gas production and the elevated prices for those commodities. Internally, Russia gets over half of its domestic energy needs from natural gas.
Russia was the world’s second-largest producer of oil (after Saudi Arabia) and the second-largest producer of natural gas in 2011 (second to the United States). However, preliminary data through June 2012 indicate that Russia had surpassed Saudi Arabia as the top oil producer for much of the year.
Russia’s oil and gas sector continues to be affected by high taxes and export duties. While export duties for crude oil and petroleum products were lowered to 60 and 65 percent, respectively, in 2011, producers still face high mineral extraction taxes and a revenue-based tax system.
Russia was the second-largest producer of crude oil in 2011, second only to Saudi Arabia. During the year, production averaged more than 10 million bbl/d.
Russia’s proven oil reserves were 60 billion barrels as of January 2012, according to the Oil and Gas Journal. Most of Russia’s resources are located in Western Siberia, between the Ural Mountains and the Central Siberian Plateau and in the Volga-Urals region, extending into the Caspian Sea. Eastern Siberia holds some reserves, but the region has had little exploration.
LUKoil is the second-largest holder of oil reserves and producer in Russia, second only to Rosneft. LUKoil holds an impressive portfolio of both upstream and downstream assets.
Exxon, has signed an agreement with Rosneft to develop the Arctic shelf
Russia has 40 oil refineries with a total crude oil processing capacity of 5.4 million bbl/d, according to Oil and Gas Journal. Rosneft, the largest refinery operator, controls 1.3 million bbl/d and operates Russia’s largest refinery,
The majority of Russian exports (78 percent) are destined for European markets, particularly Germany, Netherlands, and Poland. Around 16 percent of Russia’s oil exports go to Asia, while 6 percent are exported to North and South America. Russia’s main export blend is the Urals blend and it is a mixture of mostly Russian crudes of varying quality and smaller amounts of Azeri and Kazakh crudes.
About 80 percent of Russia’s oil is exported via the Transneft pipeline system,