Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these fuels accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013, based on data from Russia’s Federal Customs Service.
Russia received almost four times as much revenue from exports of crude oil and petroleum products as from natural gas. Crude oil exports alone were greater in value than the value of all non-oil and natural gas exports.
Europe, including Turkey, receives most of Russia’s exports of crude oil and products, as well as virtually all exports of natural gas. Asia (especially China) receives substantial volumes of crude oil and some liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia. Recently, Russia finalized a 30-year, $400 billion deal to supply China with natural gas from fields in Eastern Siberia, which will further increase Russian export revenues. North America imports some Russian petroleum products, particularly unfinished oils used in refineries.
Although Russia exports less crude oil and less natural gas than it consumes domestically, domestic sales of crude oil and natural gas are much lower in value than exports because of vertical integration of the oil and natural gas industry and subsidized domestic prices.
Many Russian oil firms are vertically integrated, owning both the oil fields and refineries that process crude oil. These firms can sell crude oil directly to their own refineries at low prices.
Domestic natural gas prices are also subsidized, forcing Russian companies like Gazprom to use export revenue to fund investment in new infrastructure and projects. EIA estimates that Russian domestic sales of natural gas and crude oil were about $20 billion in 2013, based on data from IHS Energy.
Although revenue from domestic sales of crude oil and natural gas in 2013 was significantly lower than revenue from exports, Russian domestic sales of petroleum products, particularly motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, were approximately $102 billion, similar to revenue from product exports.
Oil and natural gas activities make up a large portion of Russia’s federal budget. According to the Ministry of Finance, 50% of Russia’s federal budget revenue in 2013 came from mineral extraction taxes and export customs duties on oil and natural gas.