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Petroleum Production in Russia

Nature volume 131, page 541 (15 April 1933) | Download Citation



ACCORDING to Science Service of Washington, D.C., the petroleum production of Soviet Russia has now attained the position of being the second largest in the world, the estimated yield last year being 150 million barrels. Many factors have conduced to this remarkable advance, but chiefly the confiscation of oil property and its operation under Government directorship without competition have been respon sible. The fields have the additional advantage that they are well situated for transport of oil to foreignt markets and they are also easy to develop and operate. Another factor in the situation is the results of exploratory work, which have indicated the existence of potential oilfields along a tract of country stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Caspian Sea. From the point of view of economics, as emphasised by Mr. R. C. Beckstrom to the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers recently, Russia's home consumption is based mainly on industrial development and particularly on the extensive use of tractors for agricultural purposes, while external markets for oil lie chiefly with Italy, France and England, to which more than forty million barrels were exported last year. If the ambitious goal of more than 480 million barrels of oil production for 1937 is realised by the Soviet authorities, then clearly the whole scheme of international stability, in so far as petroleum supplies are concerned, will receive a severe shock.

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