Roll it up

Russia's leaving the market of hydrocarbons

The coolness of the Kremlin amid landslide of oil prices is rooted in the readiness of Russia to make the long planned though constantly postponed due to oil lobby opposition turnaround in the world's energy sphere. That is the search for some universal type of fuel able, with time passing, to become an absolute substitution of gasoline and other petroleum derivatives. 

The information on the unique fuel is scarce, if any at all, based mostly on the leak from the Tomsk State University (TSU), the place where the so called 'Vodorod Energy' (VE) was invented. That is the innovative liquid hydrogen based substance with far less costly production expenses if compared to the crude oil refining. Further on, the unnamed source close to VE developers unveiled the details on the new fuel having a number of parameters, fluidity in the first run, that make it actually a petrol analogue fully compatible with both diesel and petrol car engines. Quite a sensational conclusion suggesting itself is that the Russian chemists have been successful in tackling the problem that is staying still unresolved in other countries due to persistent opposition of the mighty oil lobby. Russia won't need any massive investments into upgrading and rearranging of the current net of its oil refineries and fuel stations so that to start the industrial production of the new fuel and its retail sale. It has also become known that VE is being already approbated at JSC SBU Azot in Kemerovo, the largest manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizers in Russia and part of the Siberian Business Unit (SBU) holding company. The message of the developers is to make SBU Azot the major future fuel production base working mainly on ammonium nitrate.

According to the TSU source, on January 19, 2016, the agreement on cooperation between TSU and SBU Azot was signed with the main aim to jointly develop projects vital for the plant and implement the results of the scientific and research work in industrial production. The information received was rechecked to be confirmed as absolutely veracious. Below comes the text of the press-release on the official SBU Azot website. 'It's worth mentioning that in 2015, TSU opened the engineering chemical and technological center on its scientific research base and aimed at mutually beneficial cooperation between science and business. SBU Azot is focused on a number of production targets dealing with improvement of technologies and new engineering output. TSU scholars may well tackle these tasks in future. This is exactly the reason behind the plant's intense interest in continued friendly relationship with the university. In its turn, SBU Azot is to become the site for practical appliance of knowledge by students, post-graduates and scientists of TSU. One more type of cooperation that is important for the plant will be special training and retraining courses on the TSU basis for the plant's personnel'.

In view of these facts, it may be supposed that the full swing preliminary work to start VE industrial scale production is going on at present. There are some unresolved issues relating the time terms and ways of mass usage of the fuel in view of the broad perspectives emerging now. Even more important seems the future of the whole fuel-energy sector of Russia traditionally using hydrocarbons.

By some indirect signs, the sizable reduce of investments into geological exploration of the new oil deposits in the first run, there's every ground now to believe that Russian authorities don't plan boosting the volumes of the extracted oil. Furthermore, in the long run, Moscow may well stop export of the 'black gold' at all, amid steady trend of lowering costs on it, and meaning it only for inner consumption instead. This change in the position of Russia would entail a dramatic reshaping of the world's oil market resulting in another inevitable price rush. Being alarmed by such a perspective, some experts already point to the need of urgent long-term contracts being concluded with the Russian oil companies to get hydrocarbons at the current low prices. If not, in foreseeable perspective most recipients countries of the Russian oil risk facing the lack of this resource.