The oil and gas industries of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in relation to the Comecon energy balance and the world petroleum market

Park, John Daniel (1977) The oil and gas industries of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in relation to the Comecon energy balance and the world petroleum market. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the development of oil and natural gas in the Soviet Union and Eastern European full members of the Council for Futual Economic Assistance (Comecon) from the end of the Second World War to 1975 and assesses the likely role of hydrocarbon fuels in the Comecon energy balance to 1980. The major part of the thesis is concerned with developments in the 1971- 1975 period, when the Soviet Union, the bloc's principal producer and supplier, experienced a number of technical and economic difficulties in the oil and gas industries and when world prices of oil showed a fivefold increase, which was reflected in turn in increasing prices of other energy raw materials. The objectives of the study are therefore to identify the problems faced in utilising Comecon oil and gas resources, to assess their impact on energy developments in the bloc and on the pattern of Soviet trade in oil and gas, and on relations with other hydrocarbon producers in the changing world market. There exists a number of western studies of Comecon energy developments, published in the early to mid-sixties, some of which suggested that the era of Comecon energy autarchy would come to an end and that the group might become increasingly involved in the world market as a competitive purchaser. This view was maintained in some quarters after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed substantial increases in the selling prices of their crude oil in October 1973 and subsequently. However study of Soviet and Fast European techno-economic material has revealed that before the aforementioned price rises Comecon planners were assessing the possibilities of adjusting energy policy to cope with these difficulties, with the objectives of at least maintaining the export surplus of oil and of developing export trade in gas. Such theories of an impending "Comecon energy crisis" are re-examined, taking into account the capacity of the logistic system to allow planners to re-assess the relationship of oil to coal, gas and other fuels. The examination suggests that although considerable difficulties are known and acknowledged to exist in the Comecon oil and gas industries, the bloc has the opportunity of retaining self-sufficiency in hydrocarbon energy to 1980 and that current policy is directed to the attainment of this objective. The thesis is written almost entirely from Soviet and Post European technical and economic sources. Official Comecon statistical material, supplemented by Ii~ECt OBeD and United Nations publications, have been used to provide basic data. The metric system has been adopted throughout the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Slavonic Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Nove, Prof. Alec and Bonar, Prof. James and Matko, Dr. D.J.I.
Date of Award: 1977
Depositing User: Miss Louise Annan
Unique ID: glathesis:1977-4841
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 13:07
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2014 15:59
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4841

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