OSW Studies

Russia’s best ally. The situation of the Russian oil sector and forecast for its future

Oil is a strategic raw material for Russia and one of fundamental significance for the functioning of the state and its future. Taxes on oil production and exports are the most important source of state budget revenues which guarantee Russia maintains its political and economic stability. Russia is building its international position on the basis of its vast raw material and energy potential. While a great number of various publications have been devoted to Russian gas and Gazprom, surprisingly little research has been done into the present condition and possible future developments of the Russian oil sector, despite the fact that oil has and will have a much greater impact than gas on the functioning and the future of Russia. The main objective of this text is to describe the present situation of the Russian oil sector, its problems and the challenges it is posing, as well as the government’s policy towards this key branch of the Russian economy. This will be an introduction to an attempt to answer to the questions about the possible future production and the export levels of Russian oil, also broken down into the European and Asian directions.