Yuri Shafranik: "Russia and Azerbaijan have excellent relations in oil and gas industry"
One of the key figures of the Russian oil and gas industry, chairman of the Board of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia, chairman of the Supreme Mining Council Yuri Shafranik told Vestnik Kavkaza about the Caspian-Caucasus direction of Russia's energy projects.
- Yuri Konstantinovich, what is the significance of signing the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea for the oil and gas cooperation of the five Caspian littoral states?
- The signing of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is a huge step forward in the cooperation of our states. It's not just a certain change, but a whole new era in the life of the Caspian region. The Convention creates the basis for any further progress and recovers countries and their projects from the uncertain condition of previous years. First of all, it concerns Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Not much has changed over the past few months, but the atmosphere of our cooperation has become completely different, which is the most important thing.
- How do you assess Russia-Azerbaijan oil and gas relations?
- As in the past, I think they are extremely positive. It is a pity that Russia had not so many projects in Azerbaijan in the early 1990s, but it was a problem of the time as a whole. Azerbaijan proposed and promoted the development of cooperation with Russia, but at that time our country had to deal with its own economy, since the general decline in the industry in the 1990s had prevented it from investing actively in international projects. But now I think we have just a great relationship.
- We also want to know your opinion on the North Caucasus - what were the developments in the fuel and energy industry in this region?
- The colossal success and tremendous achievement of the last years was gasification and electrification of the North Caucasus, including its mountain villages. The Soviet legacy has not just been restored, but many steps forward were taken in this direction. Today, the NCFD is provided with all energy industry indicators.
In the future, it will be necessary to develop Russia's shelf of the Caspian Sea, from Dagestan to the border with Kazakhstan. We still need to approach this issue, as it is associated with big risks and requires huge investments. I personally studied the issue many times and saw that the project can be realized, but it requires significant and risky money, so it's a plan for the future.
The Black Sea shelf, which stretches from the coast of Georgia and Abkhazia to the Krasnodar Territory, is also quite promising and also requires a special approach and money.