Ukraine War Q&A Series: Why Does Russia Have Oil Supply Issues?

Featured, Peter Zeihan

Moscow Oil Refiner 2017. Photo By A. Savin

By Peter Zeihan

The second question of the Q&A series is…if Russia is such a massive producer of oil and oil products, why are we wasting time discussing supply issues?

The Russian oil problems are best understood when compared to the American system. If you compare California and New York gas prices to those in Texas or Alabama…you might have a heart attack. Outside of the crazy taxes in CA and NY, this boils down to transportation.

Like CA or NY, most Russian oil is produced in one area, refined in another, and then needs to be shipped to its final destination. For the Russians, thousands of miles separate each of those steps. To complicate this supply chain even further, most of this stuff must be trucked into Ukraine since the Kerch Strait Bridge rail capabilities are gone.

The Ukrainians are fully aware of this shortcoming and are now focusing much of their firepower on oil transportation and infrastructure. Destroying refineries is easier said than done, so I would expect the main targets to be fuel tanks, fuel trains, and the occasional pipeline.



Peter Zeihan is a world expert in geopolitics: the study of how place impacts financial, economic, cultural, political, and military developments. He presents customized executive briefings to a wide array of audiences including financial professionals, Fortune 500 firms, energy investors, and a mix of industrial, power, agricultural, and consulting associations and corporations. Mr. Zeihan has been featured in, and cited by, numerous newspapers and broadcasts including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, AP, Bloomberg, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, Fox News, and MarketWatch.

But we also believe in doing good in the world. At Zeihan On Geopolitics, we select a single charity to sponsor.

Our chosen charity is the group Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until further notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

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