The total investment potential of mergers and acquisitions in the oil sector of the Russian economy is estimated at around $20bn, Deputy Economy Minister Andrey Sharonov reported speaking at the first Russian oil and gas congress in Moscow today. According to him, the Russian government plans to support oil production in the future. The minister also claimed necessary to diversify oil sales. Sharonov is of the opinion that it is possible to increase the share of Russian oil in the European and Asian markets. Oil production growth along with the development of oil sector in general may also promote investments in other contiguous sectors of the Russian economy. He added that in 2002, the domestic market had accounted for 95 percent of all orders in the oil sector.
One of the factors that slacken oil exports is a deficit of pipeline capacities reaching 40m tons as of 2003, Sharonov argued.