31 Oct 2023 12:53

Russia avoids drop in oil production, refining due to lack of technology

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Russia has managed to avoid a decline in oil production due to a lack of technology after the departure of major foreign vendors, First Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin said.

"We have not lost extraction, production or refining for technological reasons. In other words, where there has been a drop or change it was voluntary, because we are participating in various international projects and operations such as OPEC+," Sorokin said at a meeting on the technological development of gas giant Gazprom at the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.

"We have not had technological reasons for losses in production and refining. This speaks to one thing, that we have generally effectively found either an alternative with our partners or substitutions are being made," Sorokin said.

"Companies need time to adapt, but at the same time before February 2022 many of our companies had a fairly large amount of available capacity - a reserve was created for the domestic market that, unfortunately, was not realized, because for companies participating in international trade and competition it was often more advantageous to use western technologies, like in the whole world, because they are the most competitive - you know what you're getting, they're tried and tested. But, unfortunately, this is not consistent with the goals of technological sovereignty," Sorokin said.

"These available capacities have now suddenly started to be deployed and utilized because now companies are already forced to look for alternatives. And it turns out that many companies make a competitive product," he said.

"For the main indicators we have covered all critical areas. A lot of work will still be needed, we shouldn't reassure ourselves that now everything is alright with complex processes, complex products," Sorokin said.

A lot of work needs to be done in seismics, control and measuring instruments, high-temperature sensors, and software and hardware systems, he said. "But in all these areas it is impossible to do it in six months, a year or even two. More time will be needed, but we've begun the processes," Sorokin said.