Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Major oil producing region and homeland of the indigenes Nenets people

This vast, but very sparsely populated, region is located along the Pechora Sea and in the east stretches east of the Ural mountains to the Kara Sea coast. Traditionally a region dominated by the reindeer herding Nenets people, the Nenets AO is today a major oil producing region with a significant presence of oilmen. Several major oil companies, among them Lukoil, Zarubezhneft, Total and Statoil are represented in the region. The development of the Varandey oil terminal and adjacent infrastructure in 2008 opened a new chapter in the region’s economy. Several major oil fields in the Pechora Sea, among them the Prirazlomnoye, contribute to the opening also of an offshore petroleum industry in the region.

The oil-rich Nenets Autonomous Okrug today has among the highest average salaries in Russia. The 176,700 square km region has a semi-autonomous status with parts of its economy and public life governed from the neighboring region of Arkhangelsk.

The region is highly dependent on air connections with the outside world. There are only few kilometers of highways and no road connection to any of the neighboring regions.

The Nenets people is today a minority group in the region for whom the traditional reindeer herding remains a key industry.


Regional stories

Nenets oil gives boost to Norwegian port
Rapidly growing volumes of oil from the Varandey terminal are handled by the Norwegian town of Kirkenes.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Norwegian company Norterminal and its subsidiary Norterminal Floating Storage AS will soon be able to handle up to six million ton of Russian oil at its ship-to-ship facility in a fjord outside Kirkenes, Norway.

In an application to the Norwegian Environment Agency, the company seeks permission for a doubling of the volumes of ship-to-ship operations. The previous permission included only three million tons, BarentsObserver reports.

If approved by the Environment Agency, Norterminal will be able to cover almost all of Lukoil's needs for Arctic trans-shipment capacity. Lukoil is the owner of the Varandey terminal, a key infrastructure object for the company's oil...

Russian salaries falling
People are forced to cut costs as salaries are shrinking and inflation hikes.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures from Patchwork Barents show that the salary level in the Russian north in 2014 declined, the first drop since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

 The figures, based on data from the Russian Statistical Service, show a similar drop in all the five Barents Russian federal subjects. In Murmansk Oblast, the average annual salary level dropped from $15,160 in 2013 to $13,400 in 2014.  In the Republic of Karelia, salaries fell from $10,360 to $9160, while the oil-rich Nenets AO had a drop from $23,280 to $20,870, BarentsObserver...

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