BASEES Annual Conference 2022

The main actors in Russia’s gas sector – Gazprom, Rosneft and Novatek – and their role in Russia’s limited access order: privileges and responsibilities

Fri8  Apr04:40pm(20 mins)
Auditorium Lounge


Kalina Damianova


Gas exports are one of the main sources of resource rents in Russia. In 2013, an amendment to Russia’s Gas Export Law broke the monopoly of the majority state-owned Gazprom on Russian gas exports by changing the terms of access to Russia’s liquified natural gas (LNG) exports. Despite continuous pressure from domestic and external actors, however, Gazprom maintained its monopoly over pipeline gas exports. Furthermore, so far, besides Gazprom, only two other companies – the majority state-owned oil and gas company, Rosneft and private gas company, Novatek – qualify for access to LNG exports under the amended terms of the Gas Export Law. I argue that Russia’s gas sector is organised as a limited access order (LAO) where the privilege of access to rent-generating industries, such as gas exports, is accompanied by corresponding responsibilities related to domestic rent redistribution. To explain the specifics of Russia’s gas sector evolution from a single-actor model led by Gazprom towards a more diversified model of organisation, I examine the changing roles of Gazprom, Rosneft and Novatek in Russia’s gas sector LAO. To illustrate my argument, I draw on previous works, interviews and observations made during fieldwork in Moscow and a visit to Gazprom’s Bovanenkovo gas field in Siberia. I use qualitative data and process tracing to present the argument in a single, coherent narrative.