Oil to run short soon in Russia. Then, what about money for budget?

Whether you like it or not, but Russia’s main incomes are connected with oil and gas, that is the fact. And everybody understands that the role of raw material appendage is not honourable for an industrially developed country, so it should get rid of it. Russian people have enough brains and resources. Though, this is not enough. Apropos, till now it was supposed that Russia has oil resources which are enough for next 50-100 yeas. Though, as it turned out, this estimation was wrong. According to deputy minister of energy, Valentin Shepelev, Russian oil companies really possess resources only for the nearest 6-18 years. Valentin Shepelev states that notions like “explored deposits” and “deposits prepared for working” are often mixed up. Though, while estimating Russian oil reserves as they do it in the West, i.e. taking into account only deposits with high developing degree, the situation turns out to be different. While extracting 340-350 million tons a year, the reserves would be enough for the nearest 25 years. Though, specialists of the Energy Ministry suppose that Russia’s requirements make 400 million tons a year. Therefore, the really proved oil reserves are enough only for a shorter time. Of course, this does not mean that in several years Russia will face deficiency of raw materials. Though, the country is not guaranteed from such a result. Because developing of new deposits demands serious investments. Do Russian companies possess such means? Moreover, if Russia stakes on extracting minerals, it hardly will stimulate high technologies’ development. Russia does posses these technologies, though most of them belong to military-industrial establishment. Recently, the Russian considered the idea about abolishing restrictions on military aimed technologies’ use in civil production. Several years ago, serious hopes were connected with conversion, though in practice, many plants of military industry started to produce anything, but high-technology product. Of course, pots and pans are hardly could be called the result of many-year working. Though, potential of the military-industrial complex is far from exhausted. Only, it should be properly used. The nearest future will show whether Russia can became the country producing high technologies or not. Otherwise, it really could become raw materials appendage, and not only for the West, but for China, too. Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/04/39242.html

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