Russian energy giant, Gazprom Neft, says it will continue to work on developing new power sources, despite their entry to market remaining “considerably shorter than political and electoral cycles.”

Addressing this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), against a backdrop of tensions surrounding Russia’s annexation of Crimea and potential sanctions, Gazprom chairman, Alexander Dyukov, outlined the producer’s commitment to new energy development.

“There have been problems caused by political events, but…industry has responded in a timely fashion and has recovered,” he said. “As [an] oil industry, we keep working on development of new reserves and plan for new technologies of production and will continue as long as there is a demand for oil.

“Political and electoral cycles are considerably shorter than investment cycles. People do not like [the] energy sector – they dislike it even more than the banking sector. Why? There is a belief this industry is dangerous and creates space for additional regulations and taxation.”

The Gazprom chairman added there was nonetheless general agreement concerning the need for a push surrounding renewable energy sources and new technologies, noting it would be appropriate “to spend government funds on supporting R&D of [the] commercialisation of technology.”

However, the oil chief cautioned: “The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. We need to tune the system.

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“Unfortunately, if you get carried away with green energy production, regulators may miss problems that may exist in the traditional sector and this can bring problems.

“The world economy can rest in peace – sources of traditional power and new sources are available and there is an industry capable of supplying the world economy.”

Addressing the same Forum, GDF Suez president, Jean-Francois Cirelli, highlighted the current political tensions between Russia and Europe, noting the importance of energy security.

“Security of supply may be tested in the weeks and months to come,” said Cirelli. “Particularly between Russia and Europe, which will be tested…certainly.

“There is no economic development without energy security. The first mission of our companies is to ensure secure supply to our customers – this objective is our priority.”