Cover Osteuropa 3-4/2020

In Osteuropa 3-4/2020

Sechin’s oil war
OPEC+ and Russia

Roland Götz

Deutsche Fassung


At the end of 2016, Russia, the OPEC states and other countries agreed on maximum limits for oil production, with the aim of increasing the price of oil. At the request of Saudi Arabia, this group of countries, known as OPEC+, planned to agree to an additional limitation on their oil production at the start of March 2020. Igor Sechin, the chairman of the largest Russian oil production company, Rosneft, had other ideas in mind, however. He backed a rapid release of oil production in order to lower the price of oil and in so doing, force US shale oil production out of the market. Since no agreement was reached, Russia and Saudi Arabia declared that they would entirely abandon their restriction on oil production from April 2020 onwards. This led to a collapse in the price of oil, which continued to fall as a result of the corona crisis. In consequence, Russia and Saudi Arabia reverted to their shared policy of restricting production.

(Osteuropa 3-4/2020, pp. 3–14)