Russian y2k energy implications and question : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Even if you're a huge Polly and we assume US code gets remediated and there aren't any big probs in the US, Western Europe and 1st World Asia, too much of our oil supply originates in 3rd world backwaters. Lets take just one focus - Russia and the former Soviet Union. Russia exports about 2 mil bls/day of crude oil, 1.75 mil bls / d of what we call heating oil and 'uncracked'E4 (a heavier fuel that refined further in the West), a third of W Europe's natural gas, and many refining catalyst base materials.

Inconjuction with the Dec 99 hoarding that will take place before the rollover (which I estimate could excede 150-200 million barrels over and above normal consumption in late Dec), we're in for quite a oil shortfall. The Paris based International Energy Agency, just issued a report on Fri that assumed a 4th quarter world oil stock draw (demand exceding supply, crude and products) of 2.75 m bls/d with a normal winter and not enough y2k hoarding implied. To give you a feel for scale - the world consumes about 75 mil bls/d of oil.

Russian & Nuke y2k report

So think about the stock market/economic implications of this kinda oil market price spike.

I've been on 6 different month+ trips into Russia, consuming vOdKA and evaluating their oil industry. As we all now know, their whole infrastructure/economy was and is nothing more than a 3rd world basket case. But here's my question/request for feedback. I know many of their oil, pipeline & electrical systems must be run by computers but what kind and how extensively?

When I toured the largest refinery outside of Moscow, I hardly saw any electronics. The refinery was archaic. Almost no conversion capacity. A 'new' cat craker was put in in '83. Most of the refinery output went to nearby Moscow BY RAILCAR (kinda the way we did things in the 30s or 40s). They made up for the lack of electronics by having maybe 50 times the staff of a typical US refinery.

Specifically, what are the y2k risks in the Russian oil and power, and pipeline sector? I'm betting very few people in the west are very knowledgable on this. Aren't most of their systems still analog? I'm afraid to even ask about their nuks. Any first person or verifiable factual info on this????

-- Downstreamer (, September 11, 1999



I am somewhat only partially qualified to respond to your questions. For starter let me tell you that you presented the subject very well and the issues addressed are "million dollar questions" that noone might have explicit answers for.

I am originally from Russia wherein I graduated from the School of Aviation Engineering 32 yeras ago. At that time there were first attempts done to introduce mainframe computers into the transportation field. My ex was one of very first graduate in computer science in the field of a railway transportation. So I am reasonably convinced that transportation in Russia is substantially computerised.

From talking to some of my friends involved in various areas of economy I also tend to believe that natural gas industry is heavily computerized. Contrary to the popular belief the nuclear industry might not.

Still there is a lot left for speculation. We don't know how developed are their different contingency programs or manual workarounds. If I had to guess I'd say a lot because all the sophisticated equipment is frequently misused and undermaintained, so in the final count Russians are accustomed to rely on doubling or tripling of labor force to fulfill the same amount of work.


-- Gene (, September 11, 1999.


Go to

After reading this page,click on y2k box on the top right hand corner.This site has so much of what you are looking for.It's a definate eye opener.

-- maggie (, September 11, 1999.

I saw the Trend Monitor report on Gary North. Its what prompted this thread. Its a good well referenced article on energy but a litte too diffused.

One Russian y2k 'expert' says they started too late and they're gonna have y2k related problems. I want to know specifically what problems and on what systems? A Gazprom exec says they'll be OK. I want to know what steps have been taken and where are they vulnerable? Is it an embedded chip prob or mainframe stuff? How much is analog? As the above post referenced, Russia has gottem used to faulty systems and frequent problems. I assume they'll be in a better position to run things manually than we are. Is this correct? Does anyone know?

-- Downstreamer (, September 12, 1999.

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