'There are no economic reasons not to build private pipelines, because pipelines should be owned by whoever builds them,' according to Andrei Illarionov, the Russian President's advisor on economic matters. He said that 'if the state builds pipelines, then they should be state-owned, if private companies build them, then the pipelines should be in private hands.'
Illarionov said that the government had previously categorically insisted that oil pipelines remain in state hands. 'We used to hear such statements, but we haven't heard any for a long time. The government has already decided that private pipelines have a right to exist. Personally, I think that the adoption of the Energy Strategy has confirmed this. There are no economic limitations that would prevent private companies from building private oil pipelines,' Illarionov summed up. 'It is the same with private electricity grids, roads, railways and airports.'
The majority of Russia's pipeline network belongs to Transneft, which is 100% owned by the state. Private oil companies are currently lobbying for new pipelines to be built to Murmansk, Daqing, and Nakhodka.