Date: 13 May 2021

How Long Russian Oil and Gas Reserves Are Enough to Last?

Top Russian energy officials deliver a somewhat differing view on the country’s gas potential. The environment minister says Russia is able to produce natural gas twice as long as according to the chief of the state’s top resources agency. At least both seem to share the same view of Russia’s oil output potential. These are just estimates as––according to the government––the situation is dynamic when some deposits are running out while others are being discovered, with their size constantly updated. What is yet vital for Russia’s future is how far its deposits stretch, but the global energy demand. The Russian government is less optimistic in this respect, though.


Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov on May 11 said Russia has the equivalent of 59 years of oil deposits and 103 years of gas reserves. The true scale of fossil fuel deposits under Russia’s soil could be even larger, but will require additional state support to accelerate exploration in hard-to-reach areas, he added. As some deposits are depleting, others are not exploited to their fullest, according to the official. His assessment differs from the one submitted sometime earlier by the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Mineral Resources, Evgeny Kiselev, according to whom the country holds the equivalent of 58 years of oil deposits and over 60 years of gas reserves. At the same time, he added that these are just conventional figures that would see constant shifts as research technologies are developing. Throughout 2020 production of oil and gas condensate in Russia dropped by 8.6 percent, hitting the decade-worst result of 512 million tons. In 2020 the country produced more than 693 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas. Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Ministry announced a new federal scheme to reproduce the country’s base of mineral resources. Russia seeks to supply its gas stocks by at least 700 bcm per year by 2024, according to the paper. The target is some 2,800 bcm of gas by 2024, of which 400 bcm in the Arctic. Adopted in June 2020, the Russian energy strategy expects its gas production level to reach between 795 and 820 bcm by 2024.

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