Research Project

Russian oil and gas: Institutional adaptation or resistance? (RusChange)

2014 - 2018 (Completed) Project number: 237687/E30

The Russian petroleum industry is facing alarming trends. Upstream, decreasing size of discoveries and a falling recovery rate challenges Russia's ability to maintain its petroleum production.

For Russia's gas sector, the structure and politics in core export markets represent an additional challenge. In order to secure vital revenue for the state, Russia faces a triple challenge of replacing current production capacity, making production more cost-efficient, and being more flexible in its gas export strategy. The Russian institutional framework, however, has yet to change in accordance with new realities.

This project focuses on how Russia´s oil and gas sector responds to current upstream and downstream challenges. Will there be institutional adaption or resistance? This question is addressed through four work packages on institutional change covering unconventional oil, Arctic offshore petroleum, the business climate for IOCs and gas exports. The project will also include a PhD with the preliminary title: "The Russian Gas Sector in a Changing World: Gazprom´s Response to Export Market and Upstream Challenges".

Knowledge about these issues is of importance to the Norwegian authorities and industrial players who need to relate to Russia as both a neighbour, business partner and a competitor in the petroleum sector. Succeeding in these three roles requires an understanding of the Russian institutional framework.

Research on these themes is demanding, involving time-consuming data collection. But the broader challenge is to interpret data correctly, beyond superficial reporting, requiring insights in the informal as well as formal aspects of Russian economy and politics. Results will be disseminated scientifically through peer-reviewed articles, one monograph and one edited book volume. Popular science dissemination includes op-eds and media appearances. The user group will be involved through on site dedicated briefings.


Research Council of Norway

Funding program