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Gazprom: Gas Giant Under Strain
Working Paper

Published By

Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper #71

January 2008

This study, which is part of a larger research project on state-controlled hydrocarbon resources, looks at the strategy, evolution and performance of Gazprom, Russia's largest state company. It explores the critical role that Gazprom plays in the Russian economy, as well as its growing and evolving role as an instrument of state.

Section 1 provides an overview of the Russian oil and gas sectors, with special attention to the history of gas as a Soviet ministry's the period when nearly all of Gazprom's legacy assets in gas fields and pipelines were developed.

Section II focuses on Gazprom as an organization, including its structure, revenues, and its activities within Russia, Western Europe and overseas. As the study makes clear, Gazprom is far more than the world's largest gas company. It is a monopoly controlled by the Kremlin, serving both economic and political agendas, as well as a multidimensional investment enterprise seeking a larger role on the world stage.

Section III looks at the "yin and yang" of Gazprom and the state, and the reasons for early privatization efforts following the demise of the Soviet Union, as well as the current "re-nationalization" of the oil and gas sectors as world prices have risen.

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