Russian Energy Production

Energy use has been one of the most effective means for Russia to achieve important objectives even though they may have altered over time. This is because Russia has often had to change its strategies to meet shifts in international or domestic circumstances. The country’s strength lies in its flexibility in managing its energy sector.

At the same time, Russia’s energy policy has always been used to consolidate the country and to help it create a industrialized and domestically stable state. This is also utilized to help Russia’s ability to spread influence to its nearby neighbors.

Cold War Energy Policy

After the Second World War, Russia was one of the world’s superpowers. Due to this, the Kremlin saw no barriers in achieving dominance in the worldwide energy field. During the 1950s and 1960s, Russian energy policy primarily focused on undercutting Western rivals while strengthening the countries position on its own periphery. However, this came at a huge price.

This is because Moscow was not obtaining as much revenue as it could while rapidly depleting its oil fields with ineffective ways of producing oil. At the same time, oil prices skyrocketed due to a number of problems in the Middle East in the 1970s. During this time, Moscow was also already feeling the burden of sustaining the entire Soviet Union.

Due to this, Russian energy policy changed once again. It raised oil prices for customers to hold on to its buffer zone and maintain Soviet national strategy. This energy policy continued well into the 1980s. However, it was dealt a fatal blow in the mid-80s when oil prices collapsed along with an embargo on Russian oil. Once again, Russian energy policy changed to implement a market-based energy economy. However, it was not enough to prevent the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90s.

1990s Energy Policy

Russian energy policy that focused on liberalization of the industry continued well into the 1990s under Boris Yeltsin. However, production still fell by half. At the same time, Russia’s energy sector was starting to be dominated by an emerging domestic oligarch class and foreign groups. All of this was changed in 2000.

This is because Russian energy policy shifted to consolidating the energy sector under the national government’s control. It effectively nationalized the majority of energy industry enterprises including Transneft, Rosneft and Gazprom. At the same time, Russian energy policy became more aggressive in negotiating oil supply contracts with Europe and the former Soviet states.

This effectively locks other countries into purchasing large volumes of energy at very high prices due to the fact that these customers do not have any sort of alternative energy supplies. At the same time, the Russian government started to cut supplies in certain markets in order to shape political negotiations.

Current Focus

Today, Russian energy policy has several priorities. One of these is to increase energy efficiency along with a reduction of its impact on the environment. At the same time, it aims to maintain energy, technological and sustainable development along with improved competitiveness and effectiveness.

These priorities have been steadily implemented throughout the entire country. Due to this, nearly 67.2 percent of energy used in Russia in 2012 was produced by thermal sources. At the same time, the country envisions a 7 percent increase in the use of wind energy by 2020.

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