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About Resource Nationalism

The changing world has reminded: national factor is getting the most important in energy policy of producing countries. It becomes such in connection with the fact that mineral resources are not renewable. They naturally become more expensive. So grow consumer’s fears to become dependent on producers. Optimal way out of the situation is in realizing equal interdependence of both sides.


It is time for everybody to realize that producing country is extracting her own unrecoverable resources. Even if her reserves are enough for 100 years – it is a miserable quantity for historic survival and even less for future prosperity. For the time span given to her by its natural resources she must do very much to stay and to develop itself with lack of them. (This axiom already for more than a year has been reflected in economic policy of OPEC member-countries who are not greeted very much by consumers who in turn by their own economic policy strengthen resource nationalism of producers.)


I recognize existence of resource nationalism (RN) and an obvious trend of its growth for the last 20 years. Is Russia falling out of this trend? No. Does Russian RN have its own peculiarities? Yes, it does.


As a whole RN is a reaction on atavism of neocolonial attitude of consumers to producers. This is quite a natural of producing countries because every calculation – biased or objective – shows that income of a resources state from 1 ton of hydrocarbons is smaller than income of consuming state. Earnings from sold volumes of oil and gas are diluted in prices of acquired technologies, equipment and final products of oil- and gas chemical industry. It is understandable that consumer countries have highly developed industries and highly qualified personnel. Moreover it is more economically advantageous to deliver hydrocarbons to existing oil- and gas chemical complexes in regions with developed infrastructure than to build such complexes for example in the sands of Saudi Arabia. But all this in no way justifies dictatorship of consumer. He first must realize that the world is changing rapidly that globalization does not facilitate a one-sided game, just the opposite, in reflecting ever more close ties between people of Earth globalization obliges an equal rights dialogue with producer.


But a productive dialogue with consumer has not been achieves yet. And the main cause of increasing resource nationalism is hidden right here. It reveals itself differently: limited access of foreign companies to hydrocarbon deposits, nationalization of producing enterprises, harder influence on taxing of “variangians”, on giving them rights necessary for effective activities etc.