KRASNOYARSK, February 19. /TASS/. Russia may become the world’s biggest producer and importer of gas in case its price goes down substantially, deputy chairman and chief economist of Russia’s VEB development bank Andrey Klepach said at a breakfast meeting organized by TASS at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum Friday. He added that Russia could thus follow Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s top oil producer now.
"I think we could to some extent play the card of Saudi Arabia on the gas market. By competing with shale oil it made a bid for boosting output and slashing prices. Speaking about gas we can play the same role as we have potential for boosting gas output though it’s related to a serious reduction of gas price," he said.
According to Klepach, anti-Russia sanctions stimulated oil and gas companies to develop their own technologies. "I think the situation with sanctions stimulated our oil companies, probably Gazprom to a lesser extent. We’re seriously behind in the technological sphere," he said.
Also, Klepach said he thinks Russia should not get rid of its oil dependency in case it developed technologies. "We’re always undermining the fundamental basic role of hydrocarbons in our economic development, and we’re constantly saying that we should get rid of this dependency. I don’t think we can do this," he said.