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The succeeding sections focus on the institutional arrangements and policies that the various CIS producers have adopted since the Soviet collapse and on the results of these policies.

The discussion then turns to recent shifts in the policies of the two largest producers, Russia and Kazakhstan. This is followed by a brief discussion of the implications of those shifts for the future.

The global context 3. Any assessment of the long-run supply potential of oil producers in the CIS must be set in the context of growing global dependence on OPEC over the long term. This is a matter of particular concern, given that recent forecasts anticipate long- run average rates of growth of OPEC output of 2. If the cartel acts collectively, it may conclude that it 3. Brook et al. See, e. It is not destined to become in any sense a real rival or alternative to OPEC, but the prospect of rising dependence on OPEC � and, in particular, on Middle Eastern OPEC � makes the potential development of non-OPEC supply even more important, for at least three reasons: the general desirability of maintaining diverse supply channels; the potential for instability or threats to supply within much of the OPEC area; and the fact that what the cartel does as reliance on OPEC increases will depend in part on the elasticities of both non-OPEC supply and oil demand.

The higher the long-run elasticities of both demand and non-OPEC supply, the greater will be the incentives for OPEC to increase production rather than to restrict output in an effort to sustain high prices. The CIS contribution to production growth A. World crude oil and NGL production growth B. Source: IEA, Oil information database.

The importance of non-OPEC supply is all the greater in view of the likelihood that recent sharp increases in world oil prices will be at least partly sustained over the coming years. To be sure, there is continuing debate about the degree to which cyclical, as opposed to structural, factors have been driving recent price hikes, but there is good reason to expect continuing market tightness over the medium term.

Rehrl et al. One could argue that the cartel may have trouble maintaining discipline, but the growing concentration of reserves in a few states may result in a better- functioning cartel.

Even if cartel discipline broke down, it is not clear why members would want to ramp up production very rapidly rather than adopting a more cautious approach and keeping prices higher. Cf Brook et al. For recent analyses, see Brook et al.

Aggregate OPEC production capacity in , though well above the lows reached in the early s, was still below levels. As Brook et al. Given that demand growth is expected to continue, the most contingent element in the picture is oil-sector investment, which will determine supply, and hence price albeit with a lag.

Whether or not such investment is undertaken in an efficient and timely manner will depend to a great extent on developments within CIS states, but their prospects must be viewed against the backdrop of a number of global factors that may tend to depress oil-sector investment generally.

So far, there has been little sign of a strong investment response to recent price rises. There seems, however, to be more at work than a lag between initial investment and marketable output. Uncertainty about the sustainability of recent price rises clearly seems to form part of the explanation. Forecasting long-term oil prices is notoriously difficult and past price expectations have often proved to be far off the mark.

The experience of past price collapses has doubtless had a restraining effect. Moreover, price volatility makes it harder to distinguish between temporary and permanent price movements. It thus contributes to volatility of investment returns, which increases the required expected IMF �10, At the same time, global demand rose by 2. In , demand growth eased somewhat, falling back to around 1.

This estimate is based on an assessment of investment needs using the methodology set out in IEA IEA makes the important point that global investment needs will be more sensitive to changes in decline rates than to changes in oil demand. This power is likely to make for a continuing conservative investment approach on the part of non-OPEC companies.

With little spare capacity but low development costs, Saudi Arabia could increase capacity fairly quickly if it chose to do so. Non- OPEC producers, who generally face higher costs, may feel constrained to base investment decisions on a long-term price forecast that is at the lower end of what they believe Saudi Arabia and OPEC regard as their long-run target price range. Projects based on higher price forecasts could do the other producers considerable damage in the event that the cartel opted for commercial or political reasons to ramp up production and increase market share.

The huge sunk costs involved in developing CIS petroleum resources, as well as the political and other risks that the region presents, mean that investors need to be confident that long-term average prices really will be high enough to warrant such investment. Yet the inherent uncertainty of price dynamics in oil markets makes it difficult to be sure of this. What is crucial to bear in mind during the discussion that follows is that CIS governments can do much to affect the long-run price that investors reckon they need in order to make large, long-term commitments: fiscal conditions, regulations and other measures that influence production and transport costs directly affect the returns to oil production, while While the return on investment for downstream electricity and gas companies has been relatively stable, oil and upstream gas companies, especially exploration and development companies and oilfield equipment and service companies, have experienced relatively volatile returns.

Stevens and Osmundsen et al. Faced with very high prices, companies have tended to raise dividends and engage in share buy-backs rather than increasing investment. Financial Times, 5 April Saudi Arabia has, in fact, been adding capacity rather quickly, increasing it by kbd in and an expected kbd in Saudi Aramco plans to add an additional 2. The role of the CIS in world hydrocarbons supply Table 1. The rapid recovery in CIS oil output in recent years, driven chiefly by the turnaround in Russian production, has been one of the most important developments affecting world oil markets Fig.

From a peak of almost In the mids, however, a recovery began in Kazakhstan, followed by Russia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Russia alone accounted for about three-quarters of this increase almost 3. The rapid expansion of Caspian output was not unexpected, in view of the on-going development of substantial new fields by foreign consortia, but the Russian recovery was a tremendous surprise to most observers, who consistently under-predicted CIS, and particularly Russian, output growth during � Including both crude oil and natural gas liquids.

However, in addition to being a minor producer, Uzbekistan was a significant oil consumer. Oil exports were limited, as rising output was needed to cover domestic consumption. IEA notes that from through , each of its successive global projections raised forecasts for non-OPEC supply to , yet each was low of the mark, with the CIS accounting for most of the difference.

The IEA, which was explicitly conservative in its projections, was not alone: most forecasts, including those of CIS governments, pointed to slower growth than was actually achieved. Data for are preliminary. The recovery of CIS oil production was as important as it was unexpected for global oil markets, especially once oil demand began to recover and prices to rise after The CIS share of global production climbed by almost half over the period, from Increases in CIS output during � came close to matching the combined consumption growth of the United States and China roughly 4.

The IEA , moreover, expects the non-OPEC share of world supply to continue growing to the end of the present decade, albeit with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan accounting for an increasing proportion of incremental CIS supply. In both republics, projects now well under way should assure continued robust output growth through Unfortunately, the available data on net exports are for the region of the former Soviet Union as a whole, not just the CIS, as the available data series do not separate out the Baltic states � their consumption is counted as part of the FSU total, not in net exports.

National export data for the CIS oil producers is available, but it includes exports to other CIS states and, indeed, to one another some Kazakh exports go to Russia, thus freeing up Russian oil for export, etc.

Thus, the best available measures of supply to the rest of the world are still the data series on the FSU. In Russia, by contrast, there are expectations of much slower output growth.

The growth of Russian oil production since has resulted chiefly from rapid increases in output from already producing fields, made possible largely by the application of new technologies and, in many cases, the employment of western oil service companies. Russia has thus constituted a temporary exception to the rule that oil supply tends to be relatively inelastic in the short run: while the output recovery actually preceded the rise in prices, strongly increasing oil prices enabled Russian producers to increase upstream capital expenditure very rapidly, with most of this increase directed towards increasing production from existing fields Table 2.

While there is probably scope for a few more years of reasonably good growth on the basis of further production increases from existing fields,27 sustained growth over the long term will depend increasingly on the development of new fields, both in West Siberia, where Russian production is now concentrated and where a number of sizable fields remain to be developed, and in less developed regions in the north and east of the country, as well as around the Caspian. These are proceeding relatively slowly: the Institute for Energy Policy estimated in mid that new fields would add only about kbd to Russian production over the period to Milov, Dienes and Gaddy both anticipate that Russian oil production will shortly reach a peak, followed by a possibly steep decline, in part because the recent production surge has accelerated the depletion of existing fields, while far too little has been done to develop new ones.

They believe that it is already too late to bring enough new production on-stream over the next decade to offset the decline in production from mature fields. Estimates of capital expenditure are based on company data, which may differ from official statistics provided by the Federal Service for State Statistics Rosstat or the Ministry of Industry and Energy.

However, all such financial data on the Russian oil sector should be viewed with caution, owing window- dressing in company accounts, problems with different accounting standards and other difficulties; in general, data on physical volumes of production, exports, etc, are more reliable.

Oil reserves and long-term potential The CIS appears to set to remain the most important oil-producing region outside the Middle East for some time to come. To be sure, assessments of its potential vary widely, depending on methods and definitions. There are considerable differences in estimates of the total volume of petroleum physically in place. Judgements about how much of this can be produced economically depend on assumptions about technological development, oil price trends and other variables Annex 1.

BP estimates CIS proven reserves28 at just under bn bbl, up Moreover, the CIS has, in recent years, been the only major region to record strong reserves growth, although this partly offsets very slow growth during the late s and early s Fig.

While all CIS reserves data must be treated with caution, estimates for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are particularly problematic, since foreign involvement is so limited and the regimes in question are so secretive. In the case of Turkmenistan, however, alternative estimates suggest that reserves may be close to triple the levels reported by BP. IEA c:4 cites estimates running to around 11bn tonnes for the Turkmen section of the Caspian alone. There is good reason to believe that the CIS share of both reserves and output could rise further.

Much of the CIS, including some geologically promising regions of Russia and Kazakhstan, is still under- explored, and relatively little exploration is taking place at present. Significantly, the estimated potential FSU share is substantially larger than its actual share across the whole range of estimates for different probabilities.

The USGS figures have been subjected to some sharp criticism,31 but they remain the most comprehensive and authoritative estimates of undiscovered recoverable reserves in the world. Moreover, criticism has been focused on the possible upward bias of the overall estimates, rather than their distribution.

If the critics are right, there may be a substantially lower total volume of undiscovered oil than the USGS data suggest, but it is still likely that the potential CIS share is substantially larger than its current relative weight in proven reserves. This conclusion is also supported by other recent estimates.

The question of exploration is discussed below and in Annex 1. The probability estimates refer literally to the probability that as-yet undiscovered recoverable oil reserves are present. It should also be noted that the USGS estimates cited here are for undiscovered oil; they do not include potential reserves growth via increases in the share of oil known to be in the ground that is assessed as economically recoverable. There is considerable scope for growth in the CIS here, too, although a great deal of the easiest growth in this respect has already taken place.

Bush DeGolyer and MacNaughton predict that by Western Siberia will be able to increase oil production from the current slightly less than 6 million barrels per day to 10 million barrels per day and to retain this level for at least a decade. According to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Vladimir Shkolnik, a seismic survey of the North Caspian conducted in �96 identified 23 areas with large or medium-sized structures likely to hold oil in the Kazakh sector of the sea. It would be unrealistic to expect that the North Caspian will yield any further discoveries on the scale of the giant Kashagan field, discovered in However, if only half of these prospects prove to be productive, they could add a further 5�6bn barrels.

Together with enhanced recovery from existing fields, this could raise Kazakh reserves to the 50�60bn barrel range. The challenges ahead It can by no means be taken for granted that the potential just outlined will be developed in a timely, economically efficient way.

On the contrary, many observers, including IEA , anticipate that CIS output will stagnate or decline after , owing chiefly to developments in Russia. While the impact of geology, geography and international price movements can hardly be ignored, there is much that policy-makers can do that could raise or lower the long-term elasticity of CIS supply. Indeed, fiscal, regulatory and institutional frameworks may actually matter rather more in the coming decades than they have hitherto � not only in the CIS but in most of the oil-producing world.

In such circumstances, fiscal and regulatory policies that unduly increase the risks facing investors add to the disincentives to invest, pushing up the expected rate of return required to justify investment.

However, it raises the risk of long delays in developing new deposits, as governments may be reluctant to accept the reforms that are needed to attract investment, especially with respect to operational control. Caspian reserves have long been a matter of debate: IEA notes that estimates of proven oil reserves in Central Asia and Transcaucasia then ranged between 15 and 40bn bbl, with a further 70�bn bbl considered possible. See Kochhar et al. The Russian Ministry of Industry and Energy is similarly pessimistic, anticipating cumulative crude production growth of just 7.

See also Hill , who argues that Russian oil production is in danger of repeating a historic cycle of underinvestment leading to difficulties sustaining production growth before renewed investment generates a revival.

USEIA is much more optimistic, anticipating continued, albeit slowing, growth of both Caspian and Russian production through See IEA a In the long run, this could actually contribute to improvements in institutions and policies, as governments may find that they cannot secure the investment and technology needed to tackle such projects without offering better conditions to investors.

To these problems, which are common to oil producers around the world, must be added the particular difficulties that CIS producers face in getting their output to market. These arise as a result of two factors.

The first is geography. Most CIS production takes place well inland in Eurasia, often in very difficult geological and climatic conditions. The Caspian basin producers except Russia are landlocked, and even Russian production is generally a fairly long way from the sea.

The country relies on a network of long overland pipelines and has relatively limited access to open water. The pipeline network, in particular, was designed primarily for domestic distribution and with the needs of a centrally planned economy in mind. While there has been considerable investment in maintaining and expanding export infrastructure, much remains to be done if infrastructure constraints are not to become an impediment to future growth in oil exports from the region.

See Annex 3 for a detailed look at export infrastructure problems. A related problem for Caspian producers will be a final resolution of the status of the Caspian Sea itself, which has been contested since the collapse of the USSR at the end of Russia and Iran, harking back to the Caspian Sea conventions signed by the Soviet Union and Iran, initially insisted that the sea was an inland body of water a lake and must therefore be exploited exclusively through a condominium of all five states.

At present, entire fields remain untapped due to the lack of clarity about ownership. Moreover, trans-Caspian pipelines are unlikely to be constructed without an agreement on ownership of the waters, seabed and resources. Even the regulation of tanker traffic on the sea remains controversial. Of course, Russia also has considerable offshore oil resources, some of which are already being developed.

Projects on the shelf are not subject to the same difficulties with respect to transport, but they present considerable technical difficulties of their own. Most observers expect that overall FSU energy demand growth should remain relatively subdued for some time to come. The CIS economies, in particular, are extremely energy- intensive.

In Russia, energy consumption per dollar of GDP in was estimated to be 2. The situation of other states in the region is not dissimilar. To some extent, such high ratios of energy consumption to output are a product of factors such as geography, climate, the structure of industrial production inherited from Soviet central planning and the energy inefficiency of the industrial plant and infrastructure created during the Soviet period.

These factors were compounded by the sharp fall in GDP during the s � output fell far faster than energy consumption, so the energy intensity of GDP rose. Consequently, the growth of recent years has tended to reduce the energy intensity of GDP.

There is undoubtedly considerable scope for further substantial reductions in the energy intensity of production in the post-Soviet states, because progress in improving energy efficiency in most of the region has been relatively slow.

Formal policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency in both consumer and producer states in the region have generally achieved little, owing to lack of both public and private finance, and weak incentives. Energy prices have generally remained at artificially low levels, and billing arrangements often provide for little consumer control or incentive for efficiency.

Competition in electricity and heat sectors is either non-existent or has only recently begun to develop. However, all these factors are changing. Price developments are particularly important: energy prices within Russia have been rising relatively fast in recent years, as have those charged by Russia to other CIS countries and the Baltic states.

Without economically meaningful energy prices, the incentives to increase efficiency will be too weak. The Russian government estimates that the country could reduce energy consumption per unit of output by almost half 3 from current levels, and many of its CIS neighbours could do likewise. However, the implications of this trend towards greater efficiency for crude oil demand are unclear: crude consumption may rise relatively rapidly compared to other fuels, owing to changes in consumption patterns, including a rapid expansion of automobile ownership.

This means that growing demand in the region will, on the Wood McKenzie estimates, consume about one-quarter of the production increase over the period. The longer-term outlook is less clear. IEA has Russian domestic oil demand rising at the same rate as output 1. However, incremental production will continue to be larger than incremental demand in volume terms, because the growth will be from a higher base.

Patterns of ownership, control and taxation In the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the petroleum producers among its successor states adopted a range of different strategies for managing and developing their hydrocarbons sectors. Patterns of ownership and control, as well as tax regimes, and attitudes towards both the extent and the modalities of foreign involvement varied widely. These include a generally weak institutional framework, pervasive corruption, opaque and often changeable policy-making on the part of the authorities, and relatively high levels of political and economic uncertainty.

To be sure, such problems are hardly unique to the CIS. However, some western oil executives with experience elsewhere in the world privately report finding the CIS a particularly difficult place to operate, particularly with respect to corruption.

Nevertheless, an awareness of the different paths taken by CIS producers is critical to understanding their development over the past decade and the challenges they now face. The following sections review the development of oil policies from the fall of the USSR until This discussion is followed by an examination of more recent shifts in oil policy in Russia and Kazakhstan. Russian Federation Perhaps the most unusual path was that taken by Russia: by the late s, the Russian oil industry was overwhelmingly in the hands of private Russian owners.

This made Russia almost unique not only in the CIS but among major oil exporters around the world. State ownership is the global norm and Russia was by far the largest petroleum exporter whose sector was not dominated by a state company or companies though in many countries state-owned petroleum companies operate as partners of private foreign companies.

The authorities created a number of vertically integrated companies VICs by presidential decree in the early s and subsequently privatised them, often via highly questionable processes.

Some oil companies were privatised into the hands of insider managers who were oil industry professionals so-called neftyaniki or oilmen , while others were acquired by politically well connected financial groups the so-called finansisty , usually after those same groups had secured the allegiance of insider managers within the companies in question.

The larger VICs, which were privatised relatively early, bought up additional oil-sector assets as they were privatised and also swallowed up some of their smaller rivals � often employing methods as controversial as those that characterised the loans-for-shares sales.

This left the industry dominated by a handful of the The major exceptions are Angola, Indonesia now, in any case, a net oil importer and Nigeria which consistently occupies second-to-last place in the index. For a detailed look at the privatisation of the Russian oil sector, see Lane See Tompson ; in this respect, the loans-for-shares transactions resembled the insider-orientation of most Russian privatisation. See OECD �4. Gaddy and Ickes also treat the finansist- and neftyanik-controlled companies as distinct subgroups.

Since export infrastructure was and remains a scarce commodity, this constituted an important check on the power of the oil companies.

Moreover, since all producers were dependent on the trunk pipeline network inherited from the Soviet system, there were strong arguments for operating it as a publicly owned natural monopoly. It would have made little sense to privatise Transneft in the s, as a whole or following some sort of break-up.

Moreover, although Transneft is, in principle, simply a regulated fee-for-service carrier, it has sometimes served as a regulatory instrument enabling the state to maintain a firmer grip on the Russian oil sector and to exploit its position as a key transit state for other CIS producers. Export volumes thus depend on production volumes for the previous quarter, albeit with some exceptions. Most large Russian oil companies seem reluctant to contemplate any move away from the proportionality formula, which, though subject to various exceptions and sometimes ad hoc adjustments, is generally regarded as fair, transparent and predictable.

IEA notes that the tax system tends to favour larger companies, a factor that may have facilitated this consolidation process. For details see IEA a� Foreign investors and Russian oil in the s Foreign access to privatisation deals in the s was almost entirely blocked. This was not as much of a constraint on foreign penetration as it might appear, as most foreign oil companies initially tended to be more interested in entering Russia via joint ventures JVs or production-sharing agreements PSAs rather than by 1 purchasing equity in Russian oil companies.

Foreign activity in the sector thus remained limited and was concentrated in a few large projects such as those on and around the island of Sakhalin, developed on the basis of production-sharing agreements PSAs negotiated in the early s.

Not coincidentally, such projects were usually in new and difficult oil regions, where foreign expertise and technology were badly needed and where there were no entrenched Russian incumbents to resist perceived foreign encroachment. Hopes for other foreign-financed projects to develop new fields on the basis of PSAs failed to materialise. The procedures for negotiating and concluding PSAs were cumbersome in the extreme, the relevant tax code chapter was stalled for years, and much of the legislation that was passed clearly contradicted other legislation.

Much work on perfecting the legislative framework for PSAs was undertaken in �02, but opponents of PSAs stepped up their lobbying, and in early , the government decided that PSAs would be employed only in a small number of exceptional cases. The licence to exploit a field must first be put up at auction or tendered in some other way on the basis of the normal tax and royalty regime.

Only if no bidders are found on such terms will the state consider concluding a PSA. To be sure, it was never intended that PSAs would form the basis for the fiscal regime in the oil sector. They were seen as a transitional arrangement to facilitate investment while the country developed its tax code and regulatory framework. In the event, however, the authorities in the s neither completed the PSA regime nor created a stable, efficient taxes and royalties regime.

The Sidanko deal was followed by the financial collapse of and a successful attempt by TNK to take control of two key Sidanko subsidiaries, Kondpetroleum and Chernogorneft.

The legal and political battles that ensued proved extremely costly to BP and illustrated many of the reasons why Russia was a dangerous place to do business, from the weakness of the rule of law to the readiness of the political authorities to meddle in commercial disputes. To date, only three PSAs have been concluded, two of which were authorised by presidential decree prior to the adoption of the law.

These include Sakhalin 1 and 2, offshore in the Far East, concluded in the early s, and Kharyaga, in the Yamalo- Nenets Autonomous Okrug, signed in The three projects account for just 1. While the formal tax burden on the sector in the s was rather heavy � if all taxes were paid, the average producer in the s often faced tax bills in excess of his operating margin, rendering extraction unprofitable52 � the effective tax burden appears to have been substantially lighter, owing to the use of transfer pricing and other mechanisms to evade taxation.

However, the effective burden on individual producers varied widely, owing to distortions in the tax system itself. The corresponding figure for non-fuel industry was See IEA a�80 for details. Although effective tax rates were lower than they appeared at first sight in the s, the formal tax system nevertheless constituted a significant problem, owing largely to its profit-insensitivity.

This is addressed below. Since then, the tax burden on oil producers has increased markedly as a result of formal increases in the main oil-sector taxes, much tougher tax enforcement in the wake of the Yukos case and the mechanical effect of oil price rises on the rates of the major oil taxes.

The state has every right to want to secure these rents, but the means it has employed have done considerable damage to the industry in the short run, as well as posing problems for its longer-term development. As will be seen, the crucial problem is not simply the overall level of the tax burden, but the profit-insensitivity of the system and the distortions this creates.

The combination of private ownership and low effective taxation proved extremely effective in generating a rapid recovery of output. Production began to recover, albeit slowly, around the time that the new owners took control of the privatised VICs and began to restructure them. Output growth accelerated sharply after the financial crisis, as the recovery in oil prices, coupled with the perception that property rights had become sufficiently secure, contributed to a strong recovery in investment, output and exports Fig.

In , however, as perceptions of the security of property rights further improved, the latter group of companies began rapidly increasing investment, soon reaching levels comparable with the former group. This investment led to a sharp increase in oil production and exports in the following years.

Output growth, however, was uneven. State-controlled companies increased output only marginally. The picture with respect to exports is even more extreme. General taxes, like VAT, were cut, while taxes specifically targeted at the fuel sector were raised. This process continued in � This assessment is consistent with the available data sources; however, the caveats provided in note 26 above, concerning the reliability of investment data, still apply.

However, this is unlikely to be the whole story, not least because it would not explain their failure to invest or to take greater advantage of opportunities for enhancing recovery from mature fields with the help of oil services companies.

Moreover, the differences in the performance of finansist- and neftyanik- controlled companies appears to be primarily the product of choices made by the new owners. Oil companies: relative performance Growth inclusive Non-CIS crude exports Output : crude and condensate production Upstream capital spending Total Financial group-owned 1 Oil industry insider-owned 2 State-controlled 3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Per cent 1. Bashneft, Rosneft, Tatneft. The obviously flawed nature of oil privatisation notwithstanding, the oil industry that emerged after proved very dynamic.

It was, indeed, the most important single driver of Russian growth during � Production growth even accelerated in , despite a drop in prices that year. Clearly, rising oil prices gave the sector a tremendous opportunity, but they do not appear to have triggered the recovery. Nor, more recently, have record oil prices been sufficient to enable rapid growth rates to be sustained in the face of adverse developments with respect to state policy towards the sector.

See Ahrend and Tompson for details. Gurvich , This might seem a surprising conclusion at first sight, since gas output rose slightly from to Moreover, in sectors where private and state-controlled companies operate side by side, private companies have generally been more efficient. Both the perceived insecurity of property rights and the nature of the tax regime served to discourage long-term investment, as did the overall instability of the regulatory and fiscal framework.

While investment did recover strongly after , most oil sector investment has been aimed at increasing current production rather than developing new fields. It is not at all clear that the existing tax regime will be attractive when it comes to making large, up-front investments in the development of new fields. There are, indeed, good reasons to believe that it will not Annex 2. Of course, the recent focus on investment in existing fields is hardly surprising in response to a rapidly rising spot price: the priority for companies has been to pump oil and get it to market while prices remain high.

That said, investment patterns do suggest that doubts about the security of property rights are also having a distorting effect on capital expenditure. Companies controlled by the finansisty, whose property rights have tended to be seen as less secure than those of the neftyaniki, have also been significantly less inclined than the neftyanik- controlled companies to undertake long-term investment.

Either way, there is no doubt that these companies have been less inclined than their rivals to invest in projects with long payback times. Short time horizons have also been one of the major factors behind the low level of exploration activity. Three other factors are also at work. The first is that the companies and the state now assess reserves differently Annex 1. By international standards, Russian oil companies are very well endowed with reserves and have done very well at growing them in recent years.

Most of them thus feel no urgent pressure to undertake a great deal of new exploration. The state, by contrast, relies on a different set of reserves definitions and is chiefly concerned with the discovery of new resources in the ground, which have fallen far short of production-replacement levels.

In any case, conflicts within the administration over resource- See OECD �4 and �7. In hindsight, the former owners of Yukos, at least, appear to have been well advised to focus on investments with short payback periods. The short-term focus of the finansisty is easier to understand as a function of insecure property rights than as a response to capitalist incentives. See Gaddy and Ickes � As noted above, the official reserve estimates are a state secret.

This ensures that they are well placed to press their claims to any subsequent development. The authorities are committed to rectifying this problem in a new law on subsoil resources, but its adoption has been subject to repeated delays.

The third factor at work is the tax system, which provides little incentive to undertake exploration or investment in new fields with long payback times. There are a number of problems here. The much more serious problem with the tax system is the continuing reliance on taxes that are focused on physical volumes and revenues rather than profit, particularly the mineral resource extraction tax NDPI.

The introduction of the new mineral resource extraction tax in gave the government a relatively effective means of curtailing the use of transfer pricing for purposes of tax evasion. However, the reliance on profit-insensitive taxes can render production from higher-cost fields unprofitable even at relatively high prices and thus reduce substantially the number of fields that it makes commercial sense to exploit.

This is a particularly serious problem, given that a growing proportion of reserves still to be developed are in smaller, more difficult fields and that extending the lives of declining fields already in production is also critical if output growth is to be sustained.

In many cases, too, the current structure of taxation can lead to actual effective tax rates on domestic crude sales that are both higher and more volatile than they appear � and that vary widely from company to company.

The authorities are well aware of these problems and some revision of the NDPI regime is likely to be adopted this year, to take effect in Annex 2. Finally, constant tinkering IEA a:6�7. In early November , the government again asked the State Duma to postpone the first reading of this crucial bill, which had initially been introduced into the chamber in June of that year.

See Vedomosti, 26 September See OECD , ch. See Annex 1 for a detailed examination of the structure of oil-sector taxation. To the insecurity of property rights arising from flawed privatisation and the weakness of the rule of law must be added the uncertainties arising from the licensing regime. Licences to exploit subsoil resources are notoriously complex, and there is considerable scope for bureaucratic arbitrariness in administering them. While actual revocation has been relatively rare, the threat of licence withdrawal has often been used to pressure companies.

Companies do not in any legal sense own their licences. However, insecure licences have many of the same effects as shaky property rights, not least because subsoil licences are often the most valuable assets that Russian companies have � even if they do not legally own them. However, the adoption of the new law on the subsoil has been subject to repeated delays, and the bill prepared for consideration by the State Duma in early was so poorly drafted that it threatened to reduce, rather than enhance, investor protection and the security of property rights.

A final problem concerns the larger relationship between the privatised companies and the state. There have been a number of points of conflict. There was particular conflict over proposed pipeline projects to Murmansk and to China backed by Yukos and, in the case of Murmansk, by other major Russian oil companies as well.

The backdrop to these and other conflicts may well have been as important as the points of friction themselves. The implications are clear: if one buys a company primarily to secure its licences, then the security of those licences will be a crucial determinant of the price one can pay. See Skyner for a close analysis of the draft text. On the whole, the problem was less what was in the text than what was omitted: numerous crucial issues were left to the discretion of bureaucrats in the relevant ministries.

These include, in some cases, claims that oil lobbyists distributed cash directly to Duma deputies following major votes. At the beginning of the transition, the two most promising Caspian producers, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, faced a rather different set of challenges to those confronting Russia and they thus opted for a rather different approach. Both states badly needed foreign capital and technology to develop their hydrocarbon resources and, in the immediate post-Soviet period, they were inclined to welcome a high degree of western � as opposed to Russian � involvement, for both political and commercial reasons.

Subsequently, they also developed increasingly close commercial links to Russia, with Lukoil, in particular, becoming active in both markets. The newly independent Azerbaijan inherited a mature oil industry � Azerbaijan had indeed been the cradle of the oil industry in imperial Russia76 � but its onshore fields were in decline and it required substantial new investment in order to develop large-scale new projects off shore and to refurbish existing fields.

While maintaining full state ownership over energy companies, Azerbaijan was quick to invite foreign investors to assume a direct role in the development of its hydrocarbon reserves. While government ministries handle exploration and production agreements with foreign companies, SOCAR is party to all the international consortia developing new oil and gas projects in Azerbaijan.

SOCAR was created precisely for that purpose � to attract foreign players without compromising state control. There are currently four separate and distinct tax regimes applicable to oil-sector activities in Azerbaijan. The statutory regime royalty, excises and generally applicable taxes is actually relatively unimportant. The largest and growing share of oil production is covered by the alternative tax regimes applicable to companies operating under PSAs.

The latter, which began operating in May , avoids both Russia and the Turkish straits, taking Azeri crude to a terminal on the Turkish Mediterranean coast see Annex 3. Gorst �9. Peak production to date was around kbd, achieved during the Second World War. In , Azerbaijan decided to abolish joint ventures and convert them to the more investor friendly PSAs in an effort to spur increased development. The PSA regime is a description of the rules covering the twenty-two production sharing agreements ratified by the Milli Majlis and generally applies to all contractor parties in PSAs and their direct and indirect foreign subcontractors.

To date, Azerbaijan has signed over 20 major field agreements with approximately 30 companies from 15 countries. Preliminary official data indicate that oil output rose by Figure 6. The field reached an average daily output of kbd in June , mostly from the Chirag-1 stationary platform. ACG production is slated to reach approximately kbd by , rising to roughly 1mbd by Azerbaijan could be exporting 1.

Not all foreign investment projects have been so successful, however. Several have announced disappointing drilling results in recent years, and a number of joint ventures and PSAs have shut down after failing to find the anticipated volumes of commercially recoverable reserves.

While production from the ACG structure is set to grow rapidly between now and , it is also expected to have a relatively brief production plateau. The World Bank a thus estimates that, in the absence of This is well below the kbd peak recorded during the Second World War in Azerbaijan, but above the level of kbd recorded in The government expects to reach this level by This refers primarily to oil. Azerbaijan has lately enjoyed more success in finding new gas deposits.

Soviet-era production nevertheless reached a peak of kbd by It began courting foreign investors more or less immediately after independence. Like Azerbaijan and unlike Russia , Kazakhstan opted to rely heavily on tax and regulatory packages tailored to meet the needs of investors in large projects, whether in the context of PSAs, joint ventures or concessions. Some projects combine elements of more than one of these forms.

One important difference between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan has been the greater willingness of the latter to operate on a case-by-case basis. While PSAs and concessions are negotiated as a matter of course in Kazakhstan � unlike Russia, where they are still exceptional � Kazakh contracts over time have come to be based increasingly on a body of law applicable to all projects.

For investors in the s, this was not a major impediment. The tax regime was to be stable for the life of the contract. As will be seen below, it has more recently become the focus of conflicts between the state and foreign companies.

Unlike Azerbaijan and like Russia , Kazakhstan also opted to privatise most of its existing oil and gas enterprises � mainly to foreign owners and often with significant social commitments included in the terms of the sales. Many of these private companies were controlled by interests close to the government or the state-owned companies involved, raising questions about the terms of these transactions, but the production performance of the small on-shore privates was generally good.

Jones Luong and Weinthal This means that the subsurface user, at his own risk, is expected to pay all initial exploration and development costs for the contract area and subsequently to recover the costs of carrying the government's interest in the contract area from the total production. During �97, the government sold off the Chymkent Oil Refinery, Yuzhneftegaz, Mangistaumunaigaz, Aktyubinskneft and the Uzen oil fields.

The Kazakh approach was extremely successful in attracting western capital to the oil sector. The most significant single project is the Kashagan offshore field in the Caspian, which contains an estimated 7�9bn bbl in recoverable reserves up to 38bn probable on some estimates and which is being developed by a consortium led by Eni, Total, ExxonMobil and Shell.

Output from Kashagan is expected to rise sharply to and then more slowly to , reaching a plateau of around 50�60mt per annum for an extended period; the field could be exploitable for 70�80 years. With domestic consumption of just kbd, the country generated net exports of almost 1mbd, rising to 1.

The government hopes to increase production levels to around 3. This would include approximately 1mbd from Kashagan, kbd from Tengiz, kbd from Kurmangazy and kbd from Karachaganak. Other smaller fields would account for the balance. Some western oil executives believe that Kazakhstan could reach 4mbd if the authorities wish to do so and are prepared to offer more attractive fiscal terms to investors interested in developing the remaining North Caspian blocs.

As will be seen, however, there are questions as to whether or not the authorities really want even faster output growth, given the problems this could create for macroeconomic management. Indeed, some recent developments raise doubts as to whether or not Kazakhstan will even achieve the 3. In February , the consolidation of state assets went a step further with the creation of a vertically-integrated state oil and gas company, Kazmunaigaz, via the merging of Kazakhoil and Transneftegaz.

Kazmunaigaz was also given the task of overseeing a major licensing round, which began in , involving over blocks in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian shelf. Kazakhstan is also looking for Kazmunaigaz to compete with foreign energy companies. Ostensibly, the oil professionals of Kazakhoil later Kazmunaigaz were to manage the state interest in all arrangements with foreign partners, including the Caspian Pipeline Consortium CPC , from exploration and exploitation to royalties, while the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was to have a purely regulatory role.

Yet Kazmunaigaz itself has continued to combine commercial activity with a significant regulatory role in fields ranging from oil and gas transport to export access to licensing. Both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have made considerable progress in resolving the problem of access to export markets, which was very acute in view of their landlocked location, their initial dependence on evacuation routes running through Russia and the geopolitical difficulties posed by many of the possible alternatives see Annex 3 for details.

Both Caspian producers are thus likely to export to the Mediterranean through the BTC pipeline running from Baku, while Kazakhstan is developing export routes to China and expanding its existing routes through Russia, relying on both the Transneft system and the CPC.

Export infrastructure constraints could yet prove a significant impediment to output growth. Moreover, Kazakh export routes through Russia are still subject to a degree of uncertainty. Russia held up the planned expansion of the CPC pipeline for several years, finally agreeing to proceed only in October The following month, Russian pipeline monopolist Transneft withdrew from an agreement with Kazmunaigaz concerning the transport of 12mt of Kazakh crude to Lithuania over a year period. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan The two minor CIS producers, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, opted for a third path, combining continued state ownership with little or no foreign involvement.

There is probably more behind this choice than mere ideology. Jones, Luong and Weinthal note that these two states were under less pressure than Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan to privatise or to accede to the demands of foreign investors. Their leaders faced no serious domestic pressure to privatise, and the presence of alternative sources of export earnings cotton meant that developing their hydrocarbon sectors was not such an urgent priority as it was in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

While the political rationales for various development strategies are not the focus of this paper, they are important to understand, because factors such as these will continue to shape the policy choices made in future. At first glance, the experiences of these two states might not appear to matter much.

They are, after all, relatively marginal producers at present Fig. Turkmenistan, however, may have much greater potential as an oil producer than is generally recognised. While it is primarily known as a gas producer,89 Turkmenistan is widely reckoned to be under-explored and is estimated by USGS to have exceptional promise with respect to as yet undiscovered oil reserves.

Given that larger volumes Vedomosti, 18 November The sale has yet to take place as of this writing. Kazmunaigaz insists it still wishes to buy the refinery and the Kazakh government is pressing Moscow to force Transneft to honour the transit agreement. Uzbekistan, too, looms much larger as a gas producer: it has proven reserves of 1. Uzbekistan is the third largest natural gas producer in the Commonwealth of Independent States and one of the top ten natural gas-producing countries in the world.

Here, as elsewhere, reserves estimates are taken from BP unless otherwise indicated. However, it should be noted that the Uzbek and Turkmen authorities do not issue regular revisions to reserves, and these estimates have remained unchanged for some years. Unlike Azerbaijan, which retained state ownership of hydrocarbon deposits but was content to allow foreign investors a leading role in developing them, Uzbekistan has been reluctant to cede much control to outsiders.

Rather than privatising enterprises, or putting fields up to tender, Uzbekistan has tended to prefer loan-financed projects and contracts with foreign services companies.

In , a national Uzbek oil and gas company, Uzbekneftegaz, was established by merging the existing enterprises in charge of upstream activities, oil refining and product distribution, gas transmission and distribution, and petroleum facility construction. Later, Uzbekneftegaz also took over enterprises responsible for petroleum exploration, which had previously reported to the Uzbek Committee on Geology.

Lukoil formed a JV with Uzbekneftegaz to develop some fields. Enron, Texaco, Pertamina and Unocal signed letters of intent with the Uzbek company at various times, but they faced long delays in dealing with a government that was clearly unenthusiastic about foreign involvement in the sector, and little concrete work was actually undertaken.

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