Subject. The article focuses on the governmental policy for the oil production and refining sector. Objectives. We analyze reasons for the emergence of market structures in oil production and refining, and the efficacy of competitive mechanisms implemented there. The article also evaluates the governmental policy for vertically integrated oil companies. Methods. The study is based on the comprehensive analysis of the history and consequences of market structures that emerged in the oil production and refining sector of Russia. Results. Based on the retrospective analysis of institutional changes in oil production and refining, we conclude on the existence of vertically integrated oil companies, which are sustainable over time. The fact such large companies emerged in the early 1990s is quite logic. During dramatic changes in economic relations, the emergence of companies, which together form the oil production and refining sector, could be considered acceptable and ensure the national security from economic and political perspectives. Unfortunately, the sector grew not only into the most considerable economic unit, which influence national income, but also a substantial agent in the governmental economic policy. Conclusions and Relevance. The persisting oligopolistic structure of the market affects the elasticity of the governmental economic policy. The implementation of competitive mechanisms in the respective market will have no positive effects. As a result of external and internal factors, vertically integrated oil companies demonstrate a notably stable response to any economic changes. They manage to offset their economic losses in the global market through increased prices in the domestic segment.
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