Siberian territory is extremely dissimilar as for both physical-climatic features and economic development. The Far North of Siberia is basically desert tundra and permafrost area, whereas to the south of Siberia there are regions with mild climate (grapes and water-melons ripen there in the open soil) and advanced industry. Population density varies as well: Kemerovo region is comparable in this respect with Moscow region, and Yamal, Taimyr, Evenkia territories are more like Alaska or Canadian North-West. Physical-climatic features of the southern Siberia regions are favorable for intensive agriculture and for development of modern recreational services (the Baikal lake, Sayany Mountains and Mountain Altai).
Oil and Gas
Oil and natural gas deposits, as well as extraction and refinery
capacities, are situated mainly in Western Siberia. Tyumen city
is considered an unofficial capital of oil- and gas-bearing
Siberia. Siberian oil and gas are the main sources of fuel and
energy not only for Russia, yet for other countries of CIS as
well. About 25 % of oil and gas extracted is intended for
export, which gives Russia over 3/4 of its hard currency
receipts (see Siberian oil companies).
There are unique deposits of high quality low sulfur coal
concentrated in Kuzbas (reserves exceed 600 billion tons). The
major part of deposits of most valuable coking coal in Russia is
allocated here. Still Kansk-Achinsk brown coal field possesses
much greater resources (over 1 200 billion tons). Kansk- Achinsk
coal lies in massive seams 80-100, at places 200 and even up to
300 feet thick - comparatively shallow. The field may become the
main supplier of inexpensive power coal in Russia.
Forests are the unique wealth of Siberia. Woods cover an area of
about 800 thousand square miles; almost 40 billion cubic metres
of timber are allocated there - the lion's share of Russia's
resources. Over 4/5 of timber reserves are of coniferous kinds.
No territory in Russia bears comparison with Siberia in water
supply provision. Baikal lake alone holds 1/5 of the world fresh
water reserves. The largest rivers - Ob, Yenisei, Lena with
numerous full-flowing tributaries - run over Siberian area,
which favors water-intensive industries allocation here. There
is no other region in Russia, comparable with Siberia in
potential and efficiency of utilization of hydraulic power
Other Natural Resources
Siberia holds considerable share of non-ferrous metal reserves.
There are deposits of copper, nikel, zink, aluminium ores,
precious metals, deposits with commercial content of mica,
fluorite, black lead, asbestos, mercury and many other valuable
minerals. Rock salt deposits of Irkutsk salt-bearing basin count
by hundreds billion tons. Over half the Russia's reserves of
pure limestone is allocated in Siberia.
Siberia's share (%) in the Russia's scale of
territory - 45 population - 17 oil extracion - over 70 (300 million tons) gas extraction - over 80 (550 billion cubic metres) coal extraction - over 60 (220 million tons) timber resources - over 50 water resources - over 60 hydraulic power potential - over 70 electricity output - over 20 (140 billion kW-h)