Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Russian Natural Gas Reserves Management

As the country with the world’s largest proven natural gas reserves, Russia should be feeling pretty great about their energy resources in this new millennia. Russia possesses a staggering 1,680 trillion cubic feet of natural gas; nearly double that of Iran, the nation holding the next largest supply. Unfortunately for Russia, ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, management of these large natural gas reserves has fallen by the wayside. Russia set up a state-owned natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, to manage, continue in exploration, and distribution of known and newly discovered reserves. Gazprom has proven itself unworthy of this task by not having the necessary funds or knowledge base to exploit the bounteous supply beneath Russia’s expansive land mass.

Truthfully, the Russian government should think about radically changing the way they allow Gazprom to handle these resources. Not only are there tons upon tons of untapped natural gas lying in wait for the use of their country, but also for the billions of dollars that would be made for the nation through exporting these huge reserves. Russia has allowed Gazprom to be the only exploration and distribution company in the country; no foreign researchers, geologists, or engineers have been allowed to lend the much needed knowledge and know-how to make their company, and indirectly, the nation more profitable and prosperous. Most countries with large reserves realize that by charging others to join in the drilling, the country as a whole can benefit from the many drilling tariffs they could demand and enjoy the help of much more knowledgeable scientists like those employed by large outfits like Shell and Triple Diamond Energy Corp. In some ways the Cold War has continued in regard to the way Russia’s government continues to shut out foreign development, over-zealously protecting their natural gas reserves with a “if we can’t get it, no one can” attitude.

Gazprom has not only been inefficient stewards of untapped reserves, they have mismanaged the currently producing supplies as well, leading to shortages of natural gas in a country that should be overflowing with it. This company that is the sole provider of natural gas to the entirety of Russia also owns all rights to the 155,000 kilometers of pipelines that carry the natural gas throughout the country. Mismanagement of this pipeline has resulted in Russia’s own population experiencing shortages of the natural gas direly essential for all types of heating and fueling needs. The future of Russia hinges on the Russian government’s ability to encourage and direct its state-owned monopoly to keep in mind the needs of the people they have been chosen to serve.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit


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