During the World War II, the Soviet Union created a gas industry that centralized gas exploration, distribution and development within the Ministry of Gas Industry. Reserves in Siberia, Ural and the Volga regions were discovered in the 1970s and 1980s, which strengthened the Soviet Union’s position as a major gas producer of the world.
In 1989, Viktor Chernomyrdin, the Minister for Gas reorganized the operation as State Gas Concern Gazprom. Gazprom was controlled by the state, but it was held through shares of stock by the state. After the Soviet Union dissolved in the late 1990s, Gazprom was transferred to new companies like Ukrgazprom and Turkmengazprom. While Gazprom retained monopoly in the gas sector, the assets were divided among different companies.