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Igor Yusufov: Minister, Author of a Nationwide Reform, Entrepreneur and Renowned Energy Expert

Igor Yusufov, minister and entrepreneur, is a prominent figure in his homeland and on an international scale. He is a renowned expert, a talented leader and a forward-thinking author of a reform. In this article, we will list his professional achievements and explain his role in the industry.

Biographical Business Timeline

Igor Yusufov originates from Derbent, USSR. He was born in 1956 and received a degree at the Energy Faculty of the South Russian State Polytechnic University. At the age of 23, the young specialist joined Mosenergo.

Between 1984 and 1987, he was in Cuba, overseeing the construction of a thermal power plant. Upon returning, he continued his education at the Foreign Trade Academy.

In 1991, Igor Yusufov entered public service but soon left to develop the “Russia-Vostok Trading” public-private partnership. He was a co-founder and a shareholder of this organization. Then, he became CEO and sold his stake in 1996.

He spent several years as a public officer and held various high positions, including that of Energy Minister. In 2004, he switched back to business. 16 years later, he ceased investing and suspended his projects.

Key Challenges of the Russian Energy Sector in 2000s

At the beginning of the century, Russian energy businesses were monopolized by large entities. Their management practices sometimes were irrational, which drove down the prices of fixed assets. Mineral excavation was conducted in an intensive manner. Funding geological exploration was not considered as a priority. Instead of paying for goods and services, organizations arranged barter deals. The oil price was steadily decreasing on a global scale. The national and regional budgets failed to receive sufficient income. Cities and urban districts lacked money to pay for electricity. Massive reforms had to be carried out to fix the situation.

Essence of the Reform

The reform became one of the highlights of Igor Yusufov’s biography. Thanks to him, the state regained control over particular facilities. Power plants entered a large-scale reconstruction process that has been developing gradually. Technological innovations enabled to almost double the total amount of generated electricity.

The Minister had the courage to disagree with the common beliefs of that period. According to them, Russia’s primary mission was to export raw materials. He emphasized the significance of building a deep-processing industry, integrating advanced technologies and replacing foreign equipment with locally produced substitutes. He claimed it would be more rational to sell products of oil and gas chemistry abroad. At the same time, he convinced OPEC to decrease the amounts of exported oil.

Collaboration with Export-Import Bank and Halliburton

Igor Yusufov was responsible for the partnership with the Export-Import Bank of the United States. In 2014, the bank set out to invest $50 million in an oil and gas project in Siberia. In 2014 and 2016, profile meetings took place in Washington D.C.

The second development direction was cooperation with Halliburton. That was a milestone in strengthening relations between Russia and the USA. In January 2014, both parties signed a Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the geological exploration and the oil project development in Siberia. Halliburton promised to provide management, consulting, geological assessment and other engineering support services. In September of the same year, the parties signed a new Memorandum to establish a joint venture for drilling wells and providing drilling services.

Organization of Summits

Another highlight of Igor Yusufov’s biography was two Russian-American summits that he helped organize.

The US event was held in Houston in 2002. Its attendees strived to find ways to make the global energy market more stable.

In 2003, the second gathering took place in St. Petersburg. Its participants agreed that both countries should establish an intergovernmental commission to join forces in producing LNG. Igor Yusufov emphasized the necessity to fund the energy sector in his homeland with $500 billion.

Thus, Igor Yusufov, businessman and state official, played a major role in the oil and gas industry in his homeland and internationally. Thanks to his profound knowledge and outstanding analytical, organizational and communication skills, he managed to achieve a lot.

Igor Yusufov convinced the authorities to fund the energy sector in his homeland. He initiated two Russian-American summits and coordinated collaboration with Halliburton and the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He designed a nationwide reform and began the step-by-step process of upgrading power plants.





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