The Nenets Autonomous Okrug

The Nenets autonomous okrug was founded in 1929. The okrug is situated in the far North-East of the European part of Russia. The territory is 176,7 square km, which covers more than 300 km from north to south and about 1000 km from west to east, from the cape Kanin Nos to the Ural mountains. In the South it borders with the Komi Republic, in the South-East with the the Arkhangelsk region (Mesen region). A thick river net is typical for the okrug. There are a lot of lakes and swamps. Pechora is the biggest river of the okrug. In water-bearing it is the second after Volga in the European part of Russia. There is a unique population of “sig” (white fish) and salmon, such kind of fish as herring, navaga, cod, lancet fish, halibut, perch. The the okrug’s fauna is mainly presented by polar fox, hare, squirrel, ermine, fox, marten, elk, white and brown bear.

The number of the population in the okrug is 42 437 people (2012) of which round 15% are Nenets.

The administrative centre is Naryan-Mar (about 18 thousand people). In translation “Naryan-Mar” means “red” (beautiful) town. It was founded in 1935 and it is the only town in the okrug.

Nenets people

Indigenous and minority population in the okrug is Nenets . They refer to so called Tundra group and speak tundra dialect of the Nenets language. In translation a “Nenets” means a man, a person. The language of tundra Nenets are subdivided into kanin, bolshezemelski, malozenelski and kolguev dialects. There are differences between them, but they do not cause troubles in understanding each other. The basic literary Nenets language is bolshezemelski dialect.

Taking a large territory, the Nenets people live side by side with many other nationalities. Living together, especially with the Russians, has made a great influence to the material culture of the Nenets and in their turn, the Russians perceived a number of elements of the Nenets culture. The Nenets written language was created in 1932 and after 1936 the written language was switched from the Latin to the Russian alphabet. The traditional activity of the Nenets is reindeer-breeding, hunting and fishing.

In December 1989 at the first constituent congress of the Nenets people the association of the Nenets people “Yasavei” (“a guide” in translation) was established in Naryan-Mar. The associa-tion promotes social-economic development of the okrug’s minority population, reservation of traditional kinds of economic activity, study and increase of the Nenets people cultural  heritage, provides assistance in protection of their rights and interests.
Economy of the Nenets autonomous okrug is based on its natural resources. In respect of industrial development of hydrocarbon raw materials, oil and gas complex became the leading industrial brunch in the economy of the okrug.

Natural resources

The bowels of the region are very rich. These are not only oil and gas, which made this territory famous. Billion of tons of natural resources are hidden under the cover of mosses and lichens in permafrost. They include all the elements of the periodic table. Deposits of agate, amber, fluorite are discovered here. There are some perspectives of diamond and gold production. Among other mineral resources is clay, the reserves of which is more than 4 mln. tons, sands, sand-gravel and gravel-pebble mixture – more than 100 fields with the reserve about 4 milliard cubic meters, limestone  - 83 mln. cubic meters, coal – more than 10 milliard tons.
According to data from the Ministry of natural resources, about 80 oil deposits  are situated in the Nenets autonomous okrug (10 big ones among them) with the total output of the resources equal to more than 1 billion tons. The latest oil filed was discovered in our region in 2003. The first oil filed in the Nenets okrug – Shapkinskoe - was found in 1966.

With the beginning of oil and gas production, the economical structure of the okrug underwent new principal changes – oil and gas complex became the main branch of economy. At the end of 1980s Kharyaga and Peschanoozerskoye oil and gas fields were introduced into the working process, and since the middle of 1990s – Ardalin oil field. Yet earlier, at the end of 1970s, natural gas of Vasilkovo gas condensate field came by pipelines to Krasnoe village and Naryan-Mar and it began to be used for municipal economy’s needs.

Economic development of the okrug is connected with traditional branches of economy: reindeer breeding and fishing, as well as increasing of volumes of oil and gas production, development of geology, transport and social infrastructure. The Pechora Timber Stock Company, Meat processing plant and Naryan-Mar fish processing plant are biggest industrial enterprises.

Transport and communications

Nowadays, mainly communication by air and by water in summer time, while navigating period, is possible. The most important role in the transport system of the okrug belongs to the aviation. Naryan-Mar is connected with all the okrug’s settlements and the other parts of Russia by air.  

Big economical meaning for the further development of the okrug has got construction of the motor road Naryan-Mar – Usinsk. Its construction is realized by means of the territorial and federal funds. It will join the centers of hydro-carbon raw materials’ extraction with the okrug’s center and the Nenets okrug will get the possibility of overland transport way to the Komi Re-public and all over Russia transport scheme. The total length of the motor-road Naryan-Mar – Usinsk is 386 km.

There are no railroads in the okrug. The nearest railway stations are in Arkhangeslk, Pechora, Vorkuta, Usinsk and Ukhta.  Naryan-Mar Sea Trade/Commercial Port is opened for foreign and domestic vessels of 3 thousand tons displacement, of the type “river – sea”. The navigation channel is 3,8 m.  There are sea (Naryan- Mar - Arkhangelsk, Murmansk) and river (Naryan-Mar - Pechora) routes. The length of the route Naryan-Mar – Pechora is 782 km. and the length of the way to the accepting buoy is 125 km.

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