Experts from St Petersburg University have presented projects initiated by the University Centre for Energy Law at the 9th St Petersburg International Gas Forum.

The Centre brings together lawyers, economists, and experts in geology, ecology, nature management, physics, and information technology. They conduct interdisciplinary scientific research for the energy industry.

The Centre was presented by the Senior Vice-Rector of St Petersburg University Elena Chernova.

The Centre for Energy Law was initiated by Valery Musin. He was an outstanding Russian legal scholar and professor at St Petersburg University. Over the years, his initiative has evolved into a large-scale interdisciplinary project.

Senior Vice-Rector of St Petersburg University Elena Chernova

According to the experts, only knowledge of various sciences can guarantee finding solutions to pressing problems and issues in the energy sector. ‘The world does not just consume electricity, oil, gas or coal. It also uses the results of the energy sector work activities. This concerns the entire production, sales and supply chain, from deposits exploration and energy generation to marketing the finished products,’ emphasised Kristina Semenovich, the Director of the Centre.

According to Sergei Belov, Dean of the Faculty of Law at St Petersburg University, the energy sector is a classic example of the relationship between politics, economics and law in the context of the formation and development of a free-market economy.

The main purpose of energy law is the same in every country: to enable the solution to energy challenges facing humanity using legal instruments.

Dean of the Faculty of Law at St Petersburg State University Sergei Belov

Among the projects underway at the Centre for Energy Law of St Petersburg University are the legal regulations for a unique robotic diagnostic complex – a defect detector. Such robots are already used for diagnostics of water supply pipes, heating mains and water disposal systems. Additionally, there are plans to modify them for the oil and gas industry. This requires legislation amendment in terms of industrial safety to regulate the use of this robotic complex at hazardous production facilities.

The development of proposals for legislation amendments is also necessary to establish a regulatory framework for new methods of geological exploration. St Petersburg University lawyers provide the legal guidance for exploration operations.

The scientists also noted that St Petersburg University conducts research into: the management of the use of renewable energy sources and local fuels; reduction in energy intensity; and energy efficiency enhancement. This work has been carried out as part of the implementation of the Energy Strategy of Russia for the period up to 2030. According to experts, the University’s developments are bound to accelerate technological progress and increase the investment attractiveness of the industry. The Centre for Energy Law will ensure that legal regulation of technological innovation is maintained.

‘A key feature of the University Centre for Energy Law is the comprehensive integrated approach to energy law issues. This involves the application of methods of legal regulation pertaining to various aspects of energy relations,’ explained Kristina Semenovich.

The Centre for Energy Law also provides expert opinions and legal advice in energy law, corporate law, and antitrust law matters. The immediate plans of the head and staff of the Centre include organising scientific and academic projects in the energy sector.