The paper analyzes the role of small innovative business in the sustainable development of Russia's oil and gas industry and resource regions. The authors show that, in modern conditions, an urgent task is a fundamental change in the institutional and organizational structure of the hydrocarbons extraction and processing industries of Russia. Development of small deposits by small innovative oil and gas companies is more economically efficient. The paper shows that the development of small innovative business in the field of mineral hydrocarbon resources development is a priority for the United States, as well as for a number of European countries. The article substantiates that the state support of small innovative companies in the field of exploration, production and processing of hydrocarbon resources can be a powerful factor in the sustainable development of Russia's resource oil and gas regions. This applies to both to technological development and maintenance of the current level of production and deep processing. It is important for Russia to take into account the European experience of developing cluster policy and the role of small innovative business. The European Commission makes continuous management efforts to strengthen the cluster management in the EU taking into account small innovative business. The article includes the method of economic evaluation and cluster development of resource territories.