Scientific School of Valery Kriukov «Siberian School of the Resource Economy»

Russia possesses the world biggest potential of the mineral primary resources. Large scale and complexity are distinguishing features of the mineral primary resources base of Russia. Practically all known mineral resources are revealed within the mineral wealth of Russia. Our country is one of the world leaders by reserves, mining operation and export of oil, natural gas, coal, iron ores, nickel, gold, platinoids, diamonds and other extractable resources. Siberia is a key territory for mastering mineral resources.

To a bigger degree, the above mentioned circumstances have determined that in the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering during all its history a special attention has been given to studying the problems of functioning and developing the mineral resources complexes. The basic concepts of the Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) have been made in 1970-1980-s within the research conducted (mainly in the Sectoral Department of the Institute) under the leadership of the academicians Abel Aganbegyan and Valery Kuleshov, as well as Anatoly Alexeev, Bictor Bogachiov, Yuri Maximov, Yuri Movsesyan, Valentina Smirnova, Sergei Starovoitov. Important scientific results in regards to mineral resources complex have been obtained also by the other researchers, i.e. Gagik Mkrtchian, Nina Pliaskina, Nikita Suslov, Sergei Suspitsyn, Victor Chernyshev, Victoria Kharitonova and others.

The research was oriented for searching ways and directions for forming procedures of planning and management of sector and inter-sector complexes, approaches for modeling development perspectives of certain industries and industrial complexes, including fuel and energy complex, and oil-gas complex. Research has been also directed to solving certain local problems of optimizing the process of bringing the sources of mineral primary resources in the economic turnover. In particular, special tools have been developed which allowed solving important sectors and national economic problems within the framework of the planned economy. One can numerate those problems as follows:

  • optimization of allocating objects of the Western-Siberian oil-gas complex;
  • formation of the balanced plan (with timescales and material-technical resources) for the Western-Siberian oil-gas complex;
  • determining intensity of recovery (output) in the interconnection with capacity of the pipeline systems and development of recovery technologies, and processing hydrocarbon crude (“model of optimizing the balance of hydrocarbon crude”);
  • evaluating the dynamics of implementing projects of some production objects on the stages of processing (“Model of development of the oil-gas complexes of the Western Siberia”) and recovery of hydrocarbon on the level of particular deposits and their groups (“Model of complex mastering the gas-condensate deposit”); etc.

In the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering (IEIE) modern stage of research in the sphere of studying problems of the resource economy started in the second half of 1980s. To a bigger degree this was connected with a transit from the model of centralized planned economy to the model oriented onto the wide use of market coordination procedures in actions and decisions of economic agents.

Scientific problems had their evolution from searching optimal solutions for implementing projects in mineral-resources sector (under toughly given system of coordinating the actions of economic agents) to defining the economic framework and conditions, which to a biggest degree could  allow realizing the social-economic value of natural mineral wealth.

Before the period of reforms the main theoretical paradigm, which has been used for research, referred to the approach based on the theory of optimal planning and management. In the post-reform period, the research within the paradigm of the neo-institutional economics became its theoretical base. Not so much optimal decision, determining dynamics of mastering natural resources and their recovery,  is the most important result of the process of mastering the mineral resources object, but those effects which the society receives, starting from  municipal level, then regional one (subject of federation) and up to the national level, i.e. federation in general. Therefore, institutional projecting in the sphere of mastering and using mineral primary resources became one of the main priorities for research. The main accent refers to studying norms and rules which determine behavior of economic agents in this filed. Along with that, to a big extent many of the earlier developed instrumental solutions have been integrated into this topic as evaluating procedures and quantity analysis for the use within different institutional systems.

During the last 25 years the main problem with which the researchers are working refers to directions and peculiarities of forming so-called resource regimes, i.e. “specialized” institutional system, with its set of norms, rights, rules and procedures. These regimes determine most efficiently mastering and use of the mineral natural resources, first of all, from the society viewpoint. Whereas the important place is given not just to studying   processes of subsoil use, but rather to their estimation from the position of influencing on the possibilities of “exit” of primary resources territories onto the trajectories of sustainable social-economic development.

Research was developing within the frameworks of integration such scientific disciplines as:

  • Economy of the mineral-primary resources;
  • Regional economics;
  • Neo-institutional economics;
  • Transformation processes in the economy and in the social sphere;
  • Instrumental models and methods of analyzing and forecasting the functioning and development of economic objects and systems. 

Integration of the approaches common to the above mentioned scientific disciplines resulted in synergetic effect - a new scientific field in the sphere of studying problems and development trends within the resource regimes in the mineral raw materials sector of the economy. The work within this field makes up a core and a base of “Siberian School of the Resource Economy” (SSRE).  

The main scientific results of the SSRE are as follows:

  • revealing the peculiarities and conditions of formation and evolution of the resource regimes, both in the process of mastering mineral raw materials resources and in the process of  accumulation knowledge and skills;
  • grounding the role and significance of the systematic and specific peculiarities of active assets of the mineral raw materials sector, specified not only by technologies of mastering and using resources, but also by peculiarities of forming technological systems in the framework of different models for coordinating economic agents;
  • defining framework, conditions and factors determining a potential social-economic value of mastering and using mineral raw materials resources;
  • analyzing the barriers and constraints of forming sustainable interrelations between the mineral resources sector of the economy and the whole complex of processing and providing sectors in conditions of the current Russia, and, especially, the East of Russia;
  • research of  the special aspects of forming “soft institutional conditions” in the present-day mineral resources sector of Russia (from the viewpoint of matching the possibilities of getting potential effects by society from mastering  the mineral resources and using them).

Conclusions, considerations and generalizations presented above have been obtained not only in the framework of studying the problems of the oil-gas sector in Russia and the East of the country, but also studying the mineral resources sector of mastering and recovery solid minerals. The territorial frames of research include not only raw material territories of the land zones of Siberia, but also objects and regions of the Arctic zone, including the shelf.

The main research work of the SSRE is being conducted in the framework of the Center of Resource Economy in the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering under the leadership of Prof. Valery A.Kryukov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Current research of the Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) is more and more focused on studying the forms of interacting the resource economy and economy of knowledge. This is connected with the fact that both in Russia and in the world perceptions about accessible, efficient and necessary mineral raw resources are changing very rapidly. Among the reasons we can speak about the current stage of the scientific-technical transformations (development of the economics of knowledge), and fast changes of forms and organizational-economic frames of involving mineral raw materials into the economic turnover within the framework of the whole chain of creating “value/cost”, starting from geological studies, explorations and up to the mastering and use of resources.

Under these conditions, the most important research of the SSRE is connected with:

  • research of composition, structure and evolution of institutional systems which provide the development of the mineral resources sector under the conditions of the modern dynamic economy;
  • studying the specific characters and peculiarities of the dynamics of institutional systems in the framework of transformation processes connected with the change of property forms and forms of participation of the state in the economic processes;
  • developing methodology for analysis and quantitive evaluation of the composition and dynamics of the institutional systems from the position of the social-economic benefits and expenses for society;
  • studying the certain key tendencies for the development of the mineral resources complex of Russia, with the accent on its Asian part (problems of rational use of the valuable components of the by-product group – petroleum gas, helium, questions of mastering the sources of  rare earths).

Specific feature about Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) refers to the accent on researching the problems connected not only with extraction and complex, rational use of the mineral raw materials, but also with the effects on “entrance” and “exit”.  In the first case we are talking about the processes of localization, i.e. using national scientific and production potential. And in the second case, that is about raw hydrocarbons deep conversion, creating prerequisites for enlarging the value of the extracted natural resources. Undoubtedly, the key trend here refers to analyzing the problems of developing the oil and gas processing, petrochemical industry, and also deep (science-based) processing of raw hydrocarbons.  

Today record keeping and analysis of the innovation processes in mineral resources complex in various aspects is one of the key directions of research within the SSRE. A wide range of questions is under research, starting from problems of developing and implementing new technologies for extraction natural resources up to production and use of new materials.  At present, together with further researching the problems of mastering resources of raw hydrocarbons, the accent has been made on solid commercial minerals, including those which have considerable innovation potential – rare earth metals, specific kinds of rough diamonds, etc.

Qualitative analysis of the mastering and use of mineral raw materials cannot be complete and sufficient. Conclusions and considerations in regards to directions and conditions for the development of the resource regimes are supported by the research connected with the quantitative measurements (comparisons).  Quantitative evaluation supposes the development (adaptation) of the economic-mathematical tools allowing to analyze the processes of mastering mineral raw resources, and also to forecast development of the social-economic systems (first of all, of the so-called “raw materials territories”).

The development of tools is being conducted for several levels of grounding the decisions.

First, that is on the level of the mineral resources sector and its sub-systems.  In particular, tools are designed for forecasting the development of the oil complex of Russia. A special approach has been designed, based on using simulation economic-mathematical models, for evaluating the forecast indicators of the oil industry development (volumes of extraction, of geological prospecting and exploration, volumes of investments). Within the complex of the built models the algorithm of calculation correlates the target indicators of the oil industry development with macro-economic, financial, technical-economic, technological and mining-geological parameters of the industry. These developed tools have been used for preparing the grounding materials for the General Scheme of Oil Industry Development in the Russian Federation.

Second, that is on the level of “raw materials” territories.  One of the key directions of modeling the resource economy refers to evaluating the effects of the oil-gas complex onto the social-economic development of the regions. The predictive assessments of influencing by the oil-gas sector onto the dynamics of the social-economic development of several regions (Tyumen and Tomsk regions, Khanty-Mansijsk autonomous area – KHMAA, Jamalo-Nenetsk autonomous area – JANAA, Krasnoyarsk region) have been made with the help of simulation models. For that purpose, the following things have been developed, on the base of earlier developed instrumental methods:

  • model for forecasting the social-economic development of Tomsk region (2012-2014);
  • situation model of influencing the social-economic development of KHMAA by the oil-gas complex, as an element of the informational and analytical sub-system of the electronic government of the area (2007-2009);
  • complex informational-analytical system for grounding  strategic decisions on the questions of managing the oil-gas raw resources of JANAA (2002-2003).

Third, that is on the level of separate projects and programs. Optimization economic-mathematical models have been developed for analyzing the trends of forming the structure of the gas-chemical production on the base of the raw materials resources of the Eastern Siberia. The developed tools allow conduct the following:

  • the comparative analysis of the efficiency in regards to the directions of the products specialization, taking into account the production of separate types of potentially possible products;
  • the analysis of the efficiency in regards to the variants of forming the technological schemes which include admissible sets of processes of the deep chemical processing of the gas raw materials;
  • the complex analysis of the efficiency of variants for locating the centers of deep processing, taking into account the expenditures for transporting the raw materials and the produced products.

Fourth, that is on the level of certain functional decisions. Some versions of tools for the quantitative assessment have been developed, and they refer to:

  • the directions of reforming the tax system for the oil-gas complex in Russia;
  • framework and conditions of using the resources of the associated petroleum gas;
  • behavior of oil companies under the different institutional conditions;
  • directions of helium  industry development in the East of Russia.

It is worthwhile to treat the work on using the cognitive approach to modeling social-economic systems as exploratory (search) direction within the framework of developing tools for the quantitative assessment the dynamics of the resource regimes. The following has been realized:

  • theoretical cognitive model of the resources-dependent economy;
  • cognitive model for making a middle-term forecast of the social-economic development for the Tomsk region;
  • cognitive model for evaluating the social-economic consequences of implementing the big infrastructural project in the depressive administrative-territorial entity  ( with Berezovsky entity of KHMAA as an example).

It is not possible to get theoretical conclusions and to test the tools outside of work with real practice. Therefore, applied works are important part of the Siberian School of the Resources Economy. There were projects fulfilled both for the companies-subsurface users and on the request of the bodies of power of the regions with raw materials and bodies of power on the federal level. There were fulfilled and are under fulfillment the expert and consulting works for such companies of the mineral resources sector as “Rosneft”, “TNK-BP”, “Novatek”, for the bodies of power of the raw materials regions, including Tiumen region, Khanty-Mansijsk and Jamalo-Nenetsk autonomous areas, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk regions.  Among the biggest fulfilled projects are the following ones:

  • preparation of the substantiating materials for the strategy of the social-economic development of Tomsk region;
  • development of propositions on conditions for the access of dry stripped gas in the gas transport system;
  • work on  concept of development  for the Pur-Tazovsky oil-gas province (evaluation of alternatives for withdrawal of oil-gas raw resources to outer markets);
  • preparation of recommendations on measures for increasing the economic efficiency of the complex program for gas utilization and development of the gas-transport system in the Eastern Siberia;
  • development of approaches for differentiation of taxing in the gas industry;
  • preparation of propositions on grounding decisions in the field of managing the natural resources potential of the Yamal-Nenetsk autonomous area;
  • analysis of trends and scenarios for the development of the social-economic system of the Khanty-Mansijsk autonomous area – Yugra.

The important part of the activities refers to expert and analytical work for the bodies of state power. Many reports have been prepared for the authorities of different levels: the Council of Federation of the State Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation, regional bodies of the executive power (first of all, for the Siberia) and also municipal bodies.

One of the most important parts of the school activity lies in development of cooperation with the colleagues who study the problems of the resource economy, first of all in regards to the Asian part of Russia. There is fruitful cooperation with the High School of Economics (Moscow), the Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology of the Siberian Branch of the RAS (city of Chita), Tomsk State University, Tomsk Politechnical University, the Siberian Federal University, the Tyumen State University, the North-Eastern Federal University (city of Yakutsk), the Buryat Scientific Center.

Modern science is inconceivable without contacts, not only in country, but also in the world. Among our partners, both in the framework of separate fulfilled projects and within multi-year cooperation, there are The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (Oslo, Norway), The East-West Center (Honolulu, the USA), the research company “Association  of Cambridge Researchers” (HIS, Boston, Massachusetts, the USA), The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (Oxford, Great Britain),  the Western University in Ontario (Canada), Dandy University (Dandy, Great Britain),  the Florence University (Florence, Italy), etc.

There were published more than 30 monographs, the results of the research are regularly published in the foreign scientific journals and books. The main results of the research are published in the world level publishing houses: Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Elsevier, Ashgate, Routledge, University Press of America, Springer.

The reports of our School have been presented at the conferences of the leading scientific communities and research centers of Russia, the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Norway, the UK, Italy.

Above from studying the problems of the resource economy, as well as considering and solving the applied issues of mastering raw mineral resources, including assessment of their social-economic value, the Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) is actively working in the field of educating personnel of the highest qualification.