The two authors from this piece from the Energy Tribune are ex-Yukos executives, so you can hardly expect a glowing review of Russian energy policy.
They make some interesting points;
Russian oil well efficiency runs at 50% of global averages - 14% vs 25%
Export net backs after tax are $6 vs domestic $22
Domestic demand is flat to negative due to efficiency savings - need more research here
Opex rising very very fast! No surprises here
In short, plenty of oil in the ground and they claim plenty of capacity in the pipeline (500,000 bbl/day). But tax disincentives for export and a state take that is not encouraging capex investment.
And then to the part I don't understand. They claim that there is plenty of spare capacity in the Transneft pipelines but that due to mismanagement and inefficiencies (same thing surely) that the fastest rising cost element is transportation.
First is the cost of oil transport. Due to the limitations and inefficiencies of the Transneft export system, almost all of the incremental exports since 2001 have been by “combined routes” rather than the Transneft system. The “combined routes” are mostly rail but also include tank cars, barges, pipeline spurs, etc. The cost of the “combine routes” scheme has risen rapidly and is expected to continue to rise at an even faster pace. There is no efficient transport infrastructure for further incremental production. Building a new efficient infrastructure would require a massive investment by the Russian oil companies when cash flows are already under heavy pressure from increasing cost and the current tax regime.
[composed and posted with ecto]