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The world is past peak coal consumption and may reach peak oil consumption within the next ten years, Alexei Kudrin, the head of the Russian Accounts Chamber, told media this week.
The official noted Russia will need to learn to rely less on oil export revenues over these next ten years. Otherwise, Kudrin added, this will become a serious problem in 20 years.
Meanwhile, investments are necessary now to diversify the Russian economy away from oil, Kudrin said, noting steps being made in that direction, specifically in the digitalization of the economy and in science and innovation.
"Maybe we should have started working in that direction a bit sooner," the official said.
The remarks of the Accounts Chamber's head echo earlier comments made by Russia's deputy financial minister.
"The peak of consumption may have already passed," Vladimir Kolychev told Bloomberg in an interview last year. "The risk is rising in the longer term."
Russia has been paying more attention to the prospect of peak oil demand recently, with the head of the energy committee at the Russian parliament, the Duma, saying in April that "Everything that can be produced should be produced while there is still demand to sell it."
Like other large oil exporters, Russia will be seeking to monetize as much of its oil and gas resources as quickly as it can.
Russia is one of the three biggest oil exporters in the world, alongside Saudi Arabia and the United States. It has enough oil to keep producing at current rates at least until 2080, with enough gas reserves to last for another 103 years. And the state is pouring billions—$110 billion to be precise—into developing new oil reserves in eastern Siberia to tap 100 million tons of new crude annually. That's about a fifth of the country's annual output in 2019.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.