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On the basis of previously unpublished archival documents and materials we studied the problem of long-term struggle in the scientific, governmental and business circles of the Russian Empire related to the construction type of the Caspian-Black Sea pipeline, capable to transport crude or processed oil. The conclusion is drawn that the development strategy was determined as a matter of fact not only for the oil industry, but for the entire Russian economy. It was about the establishment of an own industrial production or crude oil export, its use as a source of immediate profit, providing oil producers and treasury. The result of the victory aimed on the national interests of a part of the governmental, entrepreneurial and scientific elite was the following one: the focus on the non-resource development model, the decision to build a kerosene pipeline and the growth of the oil refining industry in Russia.
Modernization; Oil Industry; Economic Strategy
The relevance of the problem selected for the study is determined by the inhibition of modernization processes in Russia, the reason of which is an inefficient commodity model of economic development in many respects. The experience of the country integration in the global economy during 90ies as the result of liberal reforms have resulted in the destruction of the processing industry within its high technology aspect, the growth of “commodity” industries and the industries with energy- and water capacities and toxic emissions . Meanwhile, a significant part of the leading scientists called for a change in this strategy during many years, suggested that a large share of the proceeds from commodity exports is directed to the Russian economy development as a whole, primarily its high-tech sectors. So, on November 24, 2011 the Academician A.E. Kantorovich spoke at the parliamentary hearings of RF Federal Assembly at the State Duma. He was convinced that the availability of raw materials is not a stigma, not a misfortune. “Why does the US is not characterized as a commodity power, producing slightly less amount of oil and an equal amount of gas, 85% of the world helium, 3.5 times more coal than Russia? – he wondered. – It’s not just how much minerals we extracted, the thing is in the way of their use” . The historical experience of national project implementation and the involvement of the scientific community to the development of the state scientifictechnical and socio-economic policy conceptual bases is extremely valuable in modern Russia, as it allows you to learn, to accumulate all effective and to realize fully the specifics of Russian modernization model. However, the researchers studied this problem poorly.
Thus, the construction of the Caspian-Black Sea pipeline in the second half of the nineteenth century was not only a large-scale technical project. It was about the priority for Russia: the development of its own industrial production or the export of crude oil and the receipt of immediate profits that went into the pocket of oil producers and the treasury. The perseverance of scientists, entrepreneurs and a number of government officials ensured the technical reequipment of the oil industry, and the qualitative growth of oil refining. This decision was a frontier in the history of the Russian oil industry. By the end of 1914, the total length of oil and product pipelines in Russia was 1,278.7 km and 14,000 km in the USA, including 7,000 km of trunk lines. The level of technical equipment was approximately the same. The construction of the kerosene pipeline allowed to preserve the former structure of oil exports: in 1913, crude oil accounted for only 0.05% of oil export cost, and 6.8% for fuel oil . The modernization of the oil industry played a significant role in the transformation of Russia from a backward agrarian country to an agrarian-industrial power in the beginning of the XXth century.
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