Our country will face another difficult test. It is no secret that the Russian budget depends on the revenues of the oil and gas sector. But starting this year, a serious reduction in foreign exchange earnings based on hydrocarbon exports is expected. Is everything so critical, and what will the forced “pulling out of the oil and gas needle” lead to?
Today, Russia is one of the largest oil exporters in the world. High prices for "black gold" in the "zero" became the key to the so-called "Putin stability" in the "fat years" when the dollar was worth 30 and the euro - 40. However, expensive oil did not greatly help the country's economic development, since the excess profit from it sales are both withdrawn and continue to be withdrawn to reserves, according to the budget rule of “Kudrin’s scissors”.
Currently, there is a negative trend in oil prices. Last year, budget revenues from oil exports fell by 5,8%, amounting to only 111,5 billion dollars. The reason for this is the rapid increase in the production and supply of American oil to the world market. Due to its aggressive external policy, The United States ousted Iran, Venezuela and Libya from it, occupying their share.
An additional negative factor is the coronavirus epidemic in China, which severely hit the air transportation market, domestic trade, and the movement of passengers and goods inside the PRC. Due to an oversupply, the price of hydrocarbons decreases even faster.
Some experts believe that in 2020 the cost of oil will fluctuate between 55-65 dollars per barrel, and the Russian budget revenues from its exports will decrease.
The situation with “blue fuel” is even worse, which is due to several factors at once.
At firstthreatening Kiev with a "gas war", Gazprom pumped record reserves into European underground storages. On New Year's Eve, the monopolist capitulated ingloriously, signing a new transit agreement on conditions that are not very favorable. However, by his actions he created an oversupply in the EU.
Secondly, the winter of 2019-2020 was abnormally warm. Plus temperatures are held even in the traditionally harsh Russia in this regard. Because of this, Europeans do not have to turn to the accumulated gas reserves in the underground gas storage facilities.
Thirdly, in Southern Europe, Gazprom has a competitor in the person of Azerbaijan, which pumps fuel through the TAP and TANAP systems.
FourthlyIn addition to the state corporation, the private NOVATEK began to operate in the EU. Russian LNG from Yamal was supposed to go to Asia, but due to the insufficiently developed infrastructure of the NSR, it has to be dumped on the European market, creating competition for Gazprom.
Together, this means that gas export profits will begin to decline. Its average cost per thousand cubic meters is expected at the level of 140-150 dollars per thousand cubic meters, but it can be reduced at times to 100 dollars. According to some estimates, Russia's oil and gas revenues in 2020 will decrease by 7-10%, which is very serious. The consequences are not difficult to predict. Gazprom has already warned the population that it is time to prepare for the end of the period of low gas prices in the country.
It is easy to guess where the government will take additional funds to compensate for lost oil and gas revenues. The new head of the Cabinet, Mikhail Mishustin, a former tax official, intends to create a certain register of Russians, where under the magnifying glass the ratio of expenses to declared income will be studied. Obviously, the goal is to bring the “gray income” of the population to light. It is possible that in the future the functionality of this registry may be expanded. The self-employed tax experiment is a clear indication of the government’s thinking.