Geographic location. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug lies in the centre of the Far North of Russia, occupying the vast territory over 750 thous.sq.km. in the area. More than a half of its territory is situated behind the Polar Circle, with its smaller part stretching down the eastern slope of the Ural mountains. The Northern border of the region 5.1 thous.km long is washed by the Kara Sea and is a part of the state border of the Russian Federation. The western neighbours of the region are Nenets Autonomous Okrug and the Komi Republic, in the south the region borders on Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, in the east – on Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Federal district: Ural
Administrative center: Salekhard, distance to Moscow – 2,436 km
Primary economic activities. The total share of the regional economy in the national indicators is RUR 757.6 bln GRP (2010 estimate). In 2011 the lion’s share of economy (62.2%) belonged to manufacture, followed by trade (20.3%), construction (9%), transport and communication (5.9%), agricultural products (3%). The volume of investment into the capital stock of large and medium-sized companies made RUR 236.45 bln, falling behind the level of 2010 by 0.2%. The volume of foreign investment totalled RUR 21.7 bln (8.4% of the general volume of investment into the capital stock).
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is one of the top five regions with the best demographic figures, high investment attractiveness and organization of budget process. Yamal is the only one region of Russia to have the own income high enough to cover the budget expenditures to the full extent. In 2011 the regional budget grew by almost 40% making RUR 113 bln.
Main branches of industry. A combination of 2 different types of economic activity (commercial subsurface development and activities traditional for the indigenous peoples of the Far North) is a peculiarity of the Yamal peninsula. Gas and petroleum industry is the key branch of industry, brining 96.4% to the regional economy. Food industry has a fishing specialty. Deer farming and fur farming are developed in the regions where indigenous people of the North live.
The area of the Polar Urals nowadays is playing a special role in the economy development of the region, with the ore deposits of various rare-earth metals (manganese, platinum, chromites) strategically significant for both economy and safety of the region.
Agriculture of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is represented with deer farming, hunting and fishing. The area of cultivated lands makes 200.8 thous.ha, including 0.9 thous.ha ploughland and 199.6 thous.ha forage land. The largest in the world reindeer population (600 thous. heads) is pastured in the region. One third of the global reserves of the valuable whitefish are caught in the Ob basin.
The agro-industrial complex of the region is represented with agricultural organizations, fishing and fish-processing companies; the communities of indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North; farms, private farms and businessmen without any formation of juridical person.
Natural and mineral resources. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is situated in the Arctic zone of the West-Siberian plain, with the Yamal Peninsula in its territory, which is the main source of power supply of the Russian Federation – its gas resources are estimated as much as 50 trln. cubic metres.
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug has one of the largest resources of hydrocarbons in Russia, which primarily refers to oil and natural gas. There are 232 discovered deposits of hydrocarbon raw materials, with only 63 being developed, 19 prepared to be exploited. There is 1 unique deposit in the region – Russkoye deposit (the oil resources amount 16.15% of the total regional resources) and 30 large deposits, concentrating 67.25% of petroleum resources and 69.1% of oil extracted in the region. The major deposits are: Urengoy gas field, Yuzhno-Russkoye oil-gas field, Nakhodkinskoye gas field, Yambyrgskoye oil-gas condensate field, Yety-Purovskoye oil field.
The region lies in several natural zones - tundra, forest-tundra and northern taiga, with the forestland stretching mainly along the southern part. The total reserves of standing forest make 1.2 bln. cubic metres, mostly represented with leaf forest, cedar and spruce forest, here and there admixed with birch-trees. 6.8% of all the territory of the region is occupied by the especially protected natural areas, including 2 reserves, 9 zoological and 2 botanical sanctuaries, 1 ethnographic territory. 70% of all the global reserves of the whitefish is concentrated in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (muksun, nelma, broad whitefish, peled fish, Siberian whitefish, vendace). The region acts as a prominent furs supplier: silver fox, arctic fox, minks are ranched at the fur farms.
About 300 thous. lakes and 48 thous.rivers are found in the region, the largest of them are the navigable Ob, Nadym, Taz and Pur.
Fuel-energy complex of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is represented with gas and petroleum companies, pipeline transportation and exploring organizations. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug shares 70% of the proven national gas reserves and 18% of petroleum and condensate reserves. 85% of the total national gas amount is produced in the region, which makes 20% of the world gas recovery. 60 petroleum and gas companies are operating nowadays in the region, including the well-known «GazProm», «GazPromNeft», «RosNeft» and «Lukoil» oil companies, NOVATEK etc.
There is a plan to finish construction of a unique new-gen gas-transport system, second to none in the Russian Federation over 2.5 thous.km long till 2030, ordered to provide transportation of gas produced in Yamal. Construction of a system providing transportation of Yamal gas will contribute to the full-fledged modification of the present Unified gas-supply system of Russia.
Foreign trade turnover. The regional export turnover is primarily represented with the products of fuel-and-energy complex (mineral fuel, petroleum and the refining products). The Netherlands is the key contracting country. The imported goods are subjected to development of manufacturing introducing the cutting-edge equipment and attracting new technologies.
The companies of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug have business contacts with the partner companies and organizations from 38 countries, the main of which are the Netherlands, Poland, Germany and France. The positive trade balance is a characteristic feature of the regional foreign trade turnover.
The list of the key participants of the regional foreign trade turnover activities includes the JSC «SibNeft-NoyabrskNefteGaz», the LLC «NovaTrans», the LLC «GazPromTrans» and the JSC «YamalGeoPhyzika».
Transport is a significant part of the industrial infrastructure of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the transport infrastructure of the region being highly organized and developed:
About 5 thous.km of roads, of them 3.5 thous.km are hard surface roads of annual use. The mileage of the common use roads is around 700 km, 2.8 thous.km are departmental roads and 776 km are municipal roads. In the winter period 9.5 thous. km of additional roads are cut along the deeply frozen soil or rivers.
Air transportation is of a special importance in the region. With its vast, almost undeveloped territory and the diffuse character of settlement, the air service means a lot to carry passengers, mail, urgent cargoes and medical service. There are 9 local medium-sized aircraft companies in the region, carrying passengers, mail and cargoes. The towns of Nadym, Novy Urengoy, Noyabrsk and Salekhard possess their own runways with artificial surfaces, over 2.5 thous.meters long, the unsurfaced runways operate in the district centers.
Railway transport remains the only accessible kind of transport for about one third of the population of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. There are two railway branches, which have no crossing between them, situated in two different parts of the region – western and central. The first occupies 97 km at the passage between Chum and Labytnangy, the Vorkuta branch of the Northern railway. This section of the railway provides connection between the regional capital Salekhard and the European part of Russia. Another section of Sverdlovsk railway connects the towns of Noyabrsk, Pur-Pe, Korotchayevo, Novy Urengoy and Nadym to Surgut, further – to Tyumen and the general railway national network.
River transportation becomes the leading transportation means in the summer period. Most food products, fuel, manufactured goods and construction materials are carried by river transport into Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug every year. Sea transport operates from spring till autumn as well. The northern seaway remains almost unused at present.
Pipeline transportation plays the key role for the regional economy, based on hydrocarbon mining. The gas pipelines network links the district with the central and southern regions of the Russian Federation and foreign states.
Tourism. The Polar Ural is one of the most complicated and interesting for the tourists regions of the Ural Mountains. The natural resources of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug favor development of almost all the known types of tourism, nevertheless, this sphere remains almost untapped in the region. The natural-ethnographic tourism is considered to be the most promising one.
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is known for its virgin northern nature, customs and archeological monuments. The historic and cultural legacy of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug can be characterized by large amount of archeological and ethnographical objects. 714 historical and cultural monuments are protected by the state authorities, 2 of them are of the federal importance («Mangasea settlement» in Krasnoselkupsky district, dated by 1601, «Ust-Poluy settlement (the place of sacrifice) in Salekhard); 20 – of the regional and 9 – of the municipal importance.
There are several public natural parks in the region – Verkhne-Tazovsky and Gydansky parks. In Kunovatsky park one can observe the living ancient birds – white cranes, only several dozens of which live worldwide.
The tourists show interest in the ethnographical, historical-and-cognitive, fishing, hunting, water and ski, pedestrian and extreme routes of various complexity.