In recent years major deposits of oil and natural gas have been discovered in the Komi Republic, a region in the north of the European Soviet Union.
In recent years major deposits of oil and natural gas have been discovered in the Komi Republic, a region in the north of the European Soviet Union. Situated a short way from the polar circle, its dense swampy landscape supported only patchy agriculture, and timber working was the only important economic activity. But the recent discovery of major oil and gas deposits has transformed the region into one of the Soviet Union's largest resource producers.
SYNOPSIS: The Taiga forest was once the mainstay of the Komi economy for at the beginning of this century the people depended for their survival on deer hunting and timber working. The commercial development of the oil fields, begun in the 1930s, has substantially altered the way of life in this area. Today the oil fields are the largest in the Russian Federative Republic, a union which extends from the Baltic in the north, to China in the south. The chief refinery at Ukhta exports petrochemical products to Eastern Europe and Finland.
Natural gas which invariably accompanies deposits of oil, is also found here in abundance. A major deposit was discovered 20 years ago int he north of Komi Republic. The pipeline known as the 'Northern Lights' now carries gas from the Vyktyl fields at the daily rate of more than 50 million cubic metres. Other industrial centres in the Soviet Union depend on the Komi region for these vital supplies of oil and gas.
The local township of vyktyl is supporting an ever increasing population. Despite the freezing winters which take up nine months of each year, the town of 10,000 has increased to 60,000 in the space of ten years. And to improve their living conditions, varied recreation facilities have been introduced into recent industrial construction programmes.