The Soviet Union, second largest oil producer in the world, hopes to overtake the United States by 1975 to become the world's largest.
The Soviet Union, second largest oil producer in the world, hopes to overtake the United States by 1975 to become the world's largest. It plans to produce 500 million tons annually by 1975, against the United States' 470 million, and is working hard on several expansion programmes for oil fields, pipelines, and refineries.
Last year, 353 million tons of oil were extracted from Soviet oilfields. Among the largest single oilfield complexes are those of Siberia and the Caspian sea -- which are shown in this official film from the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: The Soviet Union, the world's second largest oil producing country, aims to become the largest by 1975. Currently, it is working on its ninth five-year plan, at the end of which it hopes to produce 500-million tons of oil annually -- overtaking the United States' 470 million tons.
Last year, the Soviet Union produced 353 million tons. This floating field, on the Caspian sea, was one of the largest single producers with 26 million. Statistics apart, it is also one of the most interesting fields in the U.S.S.R. -- a complete town, looking much like a Western cowboy town with its board-walks and wooden buildings, it houses a population of 4,500 shift workers who labour round the clock to keep the oil flowing.
Perched on stilts 10 feet (three metres) above the Caspian waters, the little town -- named Oil Rocks -- is in the centre of a web of 100 miles (160 kilometres) of roads built on piers, stretching away to the horizon linking more than a thousand wells.
A few thousand miles away, in the heart of Siberia, land fields make a major contribution to annual Soviet production. Last year, these rigs produced 31 million tons -- and are expanding to feed the proposed 7,000-mile (11,000 kms) pipeline linking the East and West of the U.S.S.R. with the fields in Western Siberia. Part of the pipeline -- which will be one of the longest in the world when completed -- will supply oil to the European states of the Soviet Union. Oil experts have also pointed out that Japan is only 400 miles away; easily linked by pipeline. Meanwhile, official reports from Moscow say that the first off-shore wells will be sunk soon in the Black Sea, where prospectors have reported a promising oilfield and natural gas field covering about 270 square miles (700 square kms). If the reports are correct, it will certainly put the Soviet Union in a strong position to take the world lead in oil production -- and, with the uneasy political situation in some major oil areas, notably the Middle East, a steady and reliable production is becoming increasingly important.