Yuri Shafranik is a well-known Russian expert in the energy sector, co-chair and a long time participant of the Dartmouth Conference, as well as a Russian entrepreneur.
He was born and grew up in the Siberian settlement Karasul, located in Tyumen Oblast. After graduating from a local high school, he went to Tyumen city to study electrical and mining engineering. Yuri Shafranik gained two degrees at Tyumen Industrial Institute, but his academic work did not end here. He went on to publish a research article about rationalisation in the development of hydrocarbon resources, which led to him becoming a Doctor of Economics in 2006.
Yuri Shafranik’s first job was that of a mechanic with the Langepasneftegas company in Tyumen city, one of the biggest oil manufacturers in Russia, and by 1987 he had risen to become the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
In 1990, Yuri Shafranik was elected Chairman of the Tyumen Regional Council of People’s Deputies – the youngest leader of the region in the country at that time. Through his professional abilities and charisma, he was appointed Governor of Tyumen Oblast just a year later. The years 1993 to 1996 saw him rise to the respected position of Russia’s Minister of Energy. Also, Yuri Shafranik was one of Russia’s prime representatives at the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, the main themes of which were economical and technological cooperation. The competence he showed in this role greatly contributed to the success of the initiative.
Yuri Shafranik is no less successful in his business activities. In 1997 he founded the Central Fuel Company, which in a very short time became the country’s leading regional petroleum products wholesaler. Then in 2000, Yuri Shafranik established SoyuzNefteGas – a group of companies specialising in oil and gas exploration in Russia and abroad. Among the proud achievements as Chairman were the many successful investment negotiations in SoyuzNefteGas’s projects, which accounted for over $1bn, with a realised net return of $1.5bn. All of the company’s projects then, as now, are for-profit; there is no direct governmental participation or state funding. To broaden his knowledge and experience of global energy matters, in 2003, Yuri Shafranik took up a five-year directorship of First Calgary Petroleums, a Canadian oil and natural gas exploration and development firm.
His business ventures aside, Yuri Shafranik is today active with several non-commercial and non-governmental organisations, including the Supreme Mining Council, Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia, and the Institute of Energy Strategy, all of which are centred on public diplomacy and good communications practice.
One of Yuri Shafranik’s significant roles in present times is co-chairing the Russian delegation to the Dartmouth Conference, one of the most important coalition platforms for maintaining relations between Russia and the USA, through discussion and debate over key issues of concern between the superpowers. For example, in 2019, the Dartmouth Conference’s working group addressed the governments of both countries to warn about the possible dangers of failing to extend the US-Russia Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
On a personal note, Yuri Shafranik (69) is married with two grown-up children.