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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The institutional structure of the natural gas sector evolved from natural conditions and the principles of the centrally planned economy. The industry was transformed to one company in the 1990s while retaining many characteristics of the previous state structure. Gazprom continued to play a vital economic and social role for the government and was granted extensive monopoly privileges. Its low pricing is closely connected to the social and economic role gas has played, but by using gas to subsidize other parts of the economy, the government has left the industry underfinanced for years. There are efforts to raise prices, but the effect of increases is uncertain due to the monopolized sector structure. Comprehensive reform has been proposed but always rejected. Cost increases and the state’s revenue needs are drivers for change. There are increasing contradictions between developments in the resource base and the structure of the industry.

Keywords: gas production, gas reserves, gas prices, Gazprom, Novatek, natural monopolies, tariffs

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