Two Ambitious Projects with Different Results

Release:

2017, Vol. 1. №1

Title: 
Two Ambitious Projects with Different Results

Author: Boris A. Binkin

For citation: Binkin B. A. 2017. “Two Ambitious Projects with Different Results”. Siberian Socium, vol. 1, no 1, pp. 27-38. DOI: 10.21684/2587-8484-2017-1-1-27-38

About the author:

Boris A. Binkin, Cand. Sci. (Econ.), Honoured economist of the Russian Federation, Economic analyst for Boston Almanac “Lebed”, USA; boris.binkin@mail.ru

Abstract:

This article is devoted to the history of the oil and gas industry in Western Siberia. This research aims at a comparative analysis of the means and results of implementing two ambitious projects of regional development in different socioeconomic and political contexts. The author considers the model for, and factors in developing the West-Siberian oil and gas industry in comparison with the execution of the American Tennessee River Valley development project (the US government’s Tennessee Valley Authority programme). They appear to be quite similar on a number of levels. The author points out that the West Siberian Oil and Gas Complex (WSOGC) programme was formed purely as a resource base for forced extraction of oil and gas, followed by their transportation beyond the boundaries of the Tyumen Region. Thus, as the latter turned into a kind of “raw materials appendage”, the interests of the local population were given little consideration. In contrast, the TVA programme has become a regional programme aimed at improving the economy and living standards of stagnant territory encompassing seven US states. The author reveals the impact of political and administrative factors on the specifics of these programmes’ implementation. The author states that the proposals of some Siberian and Tyumen researchers to create a programme approach to the WSOGC and the Tyumen Region in light of the experience of the TVA were justified. Yet, these ideas were rejected by the state bodies both of the USSR and the Russian Federation. The author concludes that the most significant social needs of the Tyumen Region in the oil and gas industry development were ignored. This tendency continues to a certain extent nowadays.

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