Economy > Natural Resources
Natural Resources

The main wealth of Tatarstan is crude oil. Its biggest oil deposits are the Romashkinskoye, Novo-Elkhovskoye, Pervomaiskoye and Bondyuzhskoye oil fields located in the Southeast and the Northeast of Tatarstan. The first industrial oil deposit (the Shugurovskoye) was discovered in July 1943; industrial exploitation started in September, 1946. In the whole period of oil production the total amount of oil extracted made up 2.6 bln. t. The current oil reserves of the Republic are still large (0.8-0.9 bln. t), though its substantial part is concentrated in medium and small deposits still awaiting their development. The largest deposits are nearly exhausted, e.g. the Romashkinskoye exhausted 83 per cent of its reserves, the Novo-Elkhovskoye - 69 per cent).

Along with crude oil, bradenhead gas is extracted in the amount of about 40 cu. m per ton of oil. There are good outlooks for involvement of natural bitumens into the economic turnover, since estimated reserves in the territory of the Republic make up 12.5 bln. t.

Among other fuel resources, Tatarstan possesses brown and black coal, combustible slates and peat. There are about 800 peat deposits with overall square of more than 35,000 hectares. In the territory of eastern regions the large coal deposits were discovered, but their industrial development is complicated by deepness of their occurrence. Reserves of combustible slates are available in the south-western part of the Republic. They can be of industrial importance in prospect.

The deposits of the Permian formation avail sediments of carbonate rocks, vast deposits of gypsum and other minerals used as construction materials. Among the biggest reserves are deposits of sand-gravel mix (246 mln. cu. m), loam (73.5 mln. cu. m), gypsum (72 mln. t), limestone and dolomite (66 mln. t), construction stone (35.3 mln. cu. m), bentonite clay (24.3 mln. t), clay for production of foamed clay (14.9 mln. cu. m), and 45 mln. cu. t. of mason's sand. Besides, large deposits of phosphorite, chalky sandstone, mineral water, therapeutic mud and components for production of cement.

Tatarstan, as no other republic or region, is rich in rivers. There are numerous lakes and underground waters. As noted above, the biggest rivers of the Republic are the Volga and the Kama and two confluents of the Kama river - the Vyatka and the Belaya. The annual flow of the four rivers makes 234 bln. cu.m per year. Besides, there are about 500 small rivers with length no less than 10 km and numerous brooks. Huge water resources are accumulated in two biggest reservoirs - the Kuibyshevskoye and the Nizhnekamskoye. There are also over 8,000 small lakes and ponds in the Republic. The Republic has substantial reserves of underground waters varying from highly mineralised water to slightly salted and fresh.