1. Ob Obye is often figuratively called “Russian Kuwait”. What gives grounds for such a comparison? Do you agree with this statement?
The basis for comparison is oil deposits. However, this comparison is not entirely accurate. Small Kuwait has almost twice as much oil reserves as Russia, -13.3 billion tons and 6.7 billion tons, respectively. True, sometimes in the Russian press there are significantly higher estimates of Russian oil reserves -20 and even 27 billion tons. Kuwait literally floats on an oil cushion, and this oil can flow and its cost is several times lower than Russia’s.
2. Oil is an exhaustible natural resource. What do you think, what structural changes in the development of the economy of Western Siberia and why should they occur now?
According to different calculations, oil reserves at the existing rates of production will last for 10-20 years. Already, some fields have been largely developed. The first step to be taken is deeper oil refining, the export of non-crude oil and oil products. Further development of the chemical industry should follow. Another Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev said that fueling with oil was like throwing banknotes in the stove. Oil should be treated not so much as fuel, as much as chemical raw materials. In addition, in Western Siberia, it is necessary to develop other industries.
As you know, coal reserves are much more significant than oil. It will last at least 100 years, so in the coming years much more attention will be paid to the coal industry. For example, in the Kemerovo region, where about 150 million tons of coal are mined, more than 10 coal industry facilities are being built. It is planned to increase production to 170-200 million tons of coal per year. And the rate is not based on the extensive increase in production, but on the deepening of coal processing, increasing the efficiency of its use. In the near future, two complexes for the processing of energy raw materials will be put into operation in Mezhdurechensk. Machine-building plants of Kuzbass increase production of equipment for the mining industry. The export of high-quality enriched coal is increasing. For this, conditions are created in large seaports: Ust-Lyra, Vyborg, Murmansk and Vysotsk. A coal terminal is being built in one of the bays in the Khabarovsk Territory.
In March 2004, the Kotinskaya mine, part of the Kiselevskugol Coal Company, was put into operation. The construction of a new mine on a coal seam with reserves of 37 million tons within the most promising in Siberia of the Yerunakovskoye field in the territory of the Prokopyevsky district lasted 10 years. The projected payback period of construction is 4-5 years. Energy coal “Kotinskaya” will be consumed inside our country and exported to Western Europe. “Kotinskaya” became the first mine in Russia with a fully mechanized coal mining process. Special underground equipment with remote control and modern conveyors performs the most dangerous and hard work in the face. Here, about 800 miners will work, which is much less than in the old mines. Particular attention is paid to safety. In the faces installed emergency notification systems for methane leakage and other emergencies, cellular communication is working.
Another...promising branch in Western Siberia is ferrous metallurgy. While Novokuznetsk metallurgical plants – Zapsib and NKMK – are only 40% loaded with ore mined within the Kemerovo region – the Tashtagol ore base. By 2014, Evrazruda plans to increase the self-sufficiency of the Kemerovo ferrous metallurgy to 60-65% by investing in the Mining Shoria mines. At present, the depreciation of fixed assets at the iron ore enterprises of the region reaches 90%. If urgent measures are not taken, soon there will simply not be anything to work on in mines and they will be closed. It is not difficult to guess about the social consequences of the closure of mines, because there is nowhere else to work for the population in the Mountain Shoria.
3. The development of the oil and gas industry leads to serious environmental problems. How? Suggest ways to solve them.
The main environmental problems of the oil and gas industry are oil spills during extraction and transportation, which can be avoided with more reliable pipeline laying, and flaring associated gas. Petroleum associated gases are a valuable raw material for the petrochemical and chemical industries. However, most of them are still burned. The main oil production centers in Western Siberia are Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk, Nefteyugansk, Urai. In the oil industry there have been territorial changes. Along with the main area of the Middle Ob region, the formation of new, northern oil producing regions, up to the Arctic zone, began. When mastering these areas, it is necessary to take into account the accumulated experience, to improve the reliability of structures. In addition to surveying work, it is necessary to conduct work on the environmental justification of construction, development and introduction of new modes of transport, less affecting the vulnerable nature of the North. Another important task is the development of economically viable ways of using associated gas.
Serious environmental problems are created by the coal industry. Kemerovo region is a pioneer in environmental legislation. Local authorities set the task of miners to restore 70 thousand hectares of previously disturbed land, to put in order hundreds of rivers and reservoirs in the region. Coal companies will be required to pay for each hectare of land, for each spring, to accept the conditions of local authorities concerning environmental protection and social policy.
4. What role can the industries of the military-industrial complex play, given their high technical level, in addressing the problems of the long-term development of the main branches of Western Siberia?
The branches of the MIC can become the basis for the technical re-equipment of other branches of machine building, which in turn produces equipment for such priority industries in the region as the extractive industry and ferrous metallurgy.
5. Western Siberia occupies a vast territory. Identify the territorial differences in the development of the economy. What areas could you single out?
In Western Siberia, the gas-producing north, the oil-producing Middle Siberia, the forest-steppe and the steppe south are clearly distinguished, along with agriculture, coal mining and ferrous metallurgy, mountain southeast with the extraction of ore minerals and limited logging. This specialization of the economy of individual territories of Western Siberia is explained by the features of the resource base.