For years, the International Energy Agency has been measuring subsidies to consumers by looking at the gap between world reference prices for a particular form of energy and what that energy sells for in a country's domestic market. The lower the cost to consumers relative to its world value, the higher the subsidy. Russia has always been among the top of this list: in the IEA's 2010 update, Russia came in third with just under $40 billion in consumer subsidies.
The value of the Russian government’s support to the upstream oil and gas activities is very significant. The subsidies to oil and gas producers in Russia that have been identified and quantified in this report amounted to 4.2 per cent and 6.0 per cent of the total value of oil and gas production in Russia in 2009 and 2010 respectively. These subsidies also amounted to 8.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent of the industry’s total tax and other payments to the federal government in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
This analysis provides the first detailed accounting of oil and gas subsidies in Norway. The report finds that Norwegian government provided 25.5 billion Norwegian kroner (US$4 billion) in subsidies for upstream oil and gas activities in 2009.