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Estimates of proven oil reserves in Russia vary wildly. Most estimates include only Western Siberian reserves, exploited since the 1970s and supplying two-thirds of Russian oil, and not potentially huge reserves elsewhere. In 2005, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources estimated that another 4.7 billion barrels (0.75×10^9 m3) of oil exist in Eastern Siberia.[1]

Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Russia’s petroleum output fell sharply, and has rebounded only in the last several years. Russia reached a peak of 12.5 million barrels per day (1.99×10^6 m3/d) in total liquids in 1988, and production had fallen to around 6 Mbbl/d (950×10^3 m3/d) by the mid 1990's. A turnaround in Russian oil output began in 1999, which many analysts attribute to the privatization of the industry. Higher world oil prices, the use of Japanese technology, and the rejuvenation of old oil fields also helped. By 2007 Russian production had recovered to 9.8 Mbbl/d (1.56×10^6 m3/d), but was growing at a slower rate than 2002-2004.[1] In 2008, production fell 1 percent in the first quarter and Lukoil vice president Leonid Fedun said $1 trillion would have to be spent on developing new reserves if current production levels were to be maintained. The editor in chief of the Russian Petroleum Investor claims that Russian production had reached a secondary peak in 2007.[2]

In 2007, Russia produced roughly 9.8 Mbbl/d (1.56×10^6 m3/d) of liquids, consumed roughly 2.8 Mbbl/d (450×10^3 m3/d) in liquids, and exported (in net) around 7 Mbbl/d (1.1×10^6 m3/d). Over 70 percent of Russian oil production was exported, while the remaining 30 percent was refined locally.[3] In early 2008 Russian officials were reported to be concerned because, after rising just 2% during 2007, oil production started to decline again in 2008. The government proposed tax cuts on oil in an attempt to stimulate production.[4]

Estimates of Russian oil reserves[5]
109 bbl 109 m3
Oil & Gas Journal 60 9.5
John Grace* 68 10.8
World Oil 69 11.0
British Petroleum 72 11.4
10 largest Russian Oil Companies 82 13.0
E Khartukov (Russian Oil Expert) 110 17
United States Geological Survey 116 18.4
Ray Leonard (MOL) 119 18.9
Wood Mackenzie 120 19
IHS Energy 120 19
M. Khodorkovsky 150 24
Brunswick UBS (consultants) 180 29
DeGolyer & MacNaughton (audit) (proven SPE?) 150–200 24–32


  1. ^ a b "Russia - Oil". Country Analysis Briefs. US Energy Information Administration. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  2. ^ "'Threat' to future of Russia oil". BBC News. 2008-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Russia - Oil Exports". Country Analysis Briefs. US Energy Information Administration. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  4. ^ Elder, Miriam (2008-05-15). "Russian leaders pledge to stimulate oil production". International Herald Tribute. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  5. ^ The Oil Drum | Uncertainties About Russian Reserves and Future Production


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