In the new energy bulletin, the Analytical Center experts consider the prospects of oil and natural gas production in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. The analysts note that in the past 10 years oil production in the east of the country has gone up by a factor of 4.4, while natural gas production has risen 5-fold.
According to the experts there are several important factors that have contributed to the expansion of oil and natural gas production in Siberia and the Far East. First, there is the proximity of Siberia and the Far East to the regions where energy consumption has been growing the fastest: China and Asia as a whole. At the same time the success of exports depends both on improvements in energy efficiency in the consumer nations and on the competition with a number of major exporters which include: the Persian Gulf countries for oil, Qatar and Australia for natural gas, Australia and Indonesia for coal. Another factor is the need to develop the region itself with the result that the government has been offering all kinds of tax exemptions and incentives for the production and exports of energy resources there.
"Analysis of the existing oil and natural gas production projects as well as projects that are in development suggests that by 2023, the production of oil in the east of the country may go up by 20–30% while the production of natural gas may more than double," the experts write. The bulk of this increase in output is going to be exported.
Another topic of the bulletin is the block chain technology that has become a mainstream phenomenon thanks to the popularity of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The analysts point out that there is growing interest in the block chain technology in the energy sector. It is expected that in the future we're going to see a marked increase in efficiencies through disaggregation of links and replacement of hierarchical systems with ones based on direct links and horizontal cooperation. New technologies can help reduce red tape and decentralize operations. "However, the hype surrounding this new type of technologies still far outstrips any practical usefulness: the new technology needs more time to come into its own: new easy-to-use applications need to be developed, standards need to change and legislation needs to catch up," the experts note.
The bulletin pays special attention to digital technologies. The country has huge intellectual potential but the demand for smart grids, the use of cutting edge technologies in the distribution and consumption of energy is still lower than in the EU, the analysts conclude. Over there, the increase in the use of renewable energy and distributed grids stimulates rapid progress in related industries. For this reason, according to the experts, the race is now on for who's going to create the most efficient and profitable digital technologies for smart grids.
For more see the bulletin Digital Technologies in the Electric Grid.
For other issues of energy bulletins see the Publications section.