Murmansk Oblast includes the whole Kola Peninsula, the about 100,000 square kilometer area connected with the Finnish Lapland province and the Norwegian Finnmark County in the west, and facing the Barents Sea and White Sea in the north, south and east. The region is governed from Murmansk City, the regional capital, which is the by far biggest city in the world north of the Arctic Circle.
Murmansk Oblast is rich in natural resources, including various ores and minerals, like apatites and nephelines; copper, nickel, and iron ores, as well as fish and other resources. A string of powerful industries has developed in fields like mining and metallurgy, fisheries and shipbuilding.
The region has several big rivers and a well-developed hydropower generating industry. The only nuclear power plant in the Barents Region, the Kola NPP, is located in the southern part of the peninsula. The location by the never-freezing Arctic waters gives Murmansk a geopolitically central position in Russian military strategies. The Northern Fleet has its bases along the Kola coast from where it has easy access to the world seas.
Along with Navy, the fisheries and the shipping industry has always been the leading players in the waters off the Kola Peninsula. Today, the oil and gas industry is also gradually making its way into the regional economy.