Komi Republic
Known for its boreal forest and oil and forestry industry

Located along the western side of the Ural Mountains, the Komi Republic is the easternmost federal subject in the Barents Region. Like the other northern Russian regions, Komi has over the last two decades seen a major decrease in population due mostly to out-migration.

Forests cover about 70 percent of the 415,900 square kilometers region and the forestry industry plays an important role in regional economy. Other key industries include oil and gas production, coal, gold and diamonds.

The Finnish-Ugric Komi people constitute a significant minority in the region. Other minorities include the Nenets people.

The region has a well-developed rail infrastructure and there are airports in the regional capital of Syktyvkar, Ukhta and Vorkuta.


Regional stories

How much Arctic gas for Europe?
Gas production in northern Norwegian waters was the highest ever in 2014.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures assembled by Patchwork Barents show that Norwegian gas production in waters north of the Arctic Circle in 2014 amounted to 7,46 billion cubic meters. That is the biggest volume from the region ever, BarentsObserver reports.

A lion's share of the Norwegian Arctic production comes from Statoil's Snøhvit LNG project, the world's northernmost of its kind, which in 2014 reached a production record of 5,22 billion cubic meters.

In the more southernly Norwegian Sea, the fields located in the waters off the county of Nordland in 2014 produced a total of 2,23 million cubic meters. That volume will increase significantly as Statoil opens its Aasta Hansteen field, presumably in 2017....

Komi coal down
Russia's northernmost coal-produding region in 2014 saw a decline in output.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures assembled from the regional industry show that coal production in the Komi Republic in 2014 shrunk with about 12 percent from 14,8 million tons to 13,1 million tons. The decrease took place at both the region's two coal-producing companies, the Vorkutaugol and Intaugol.

Vorkutaugol in 2014 produced a total of 11,4 million tons, a decrease of seven percent from 2013, company owner Severstal informs. "Last year was very difficult ", Vadim Shablakov, Vorkutaugol CEO, says in a press release. The company had major problems with its equipment in the first half of the year and production returned to normal only in fall, BarentsObserver reports.

Meanwhile, the...

Consumer price hike in Barents Russia
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

The price for a normal Russian food basket is on a rapid increase as inflation in the country surges. Consumer price growth in the five Barents Russian regions in November reached its highest level in six years.

The average inflation rate in five northwest Russian regions in November alone increased by more than one percent, BarentsObserver reports. The trend continued in December. In Murmansk, monthly prices on basic foodstuff like frozen fish, eggs and beef increased more than eight, twelve and six percent respectively, figures from the regional office of the Russian Statistical Service (Rosstat) show.

Inflation in Russia has been stable between 6-9 percent since 2009, and...

Why Russians drink less
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer