Surgut is an unofficial “oil-extracting capital” of Russia. The city is located in the northern part of Western Siberia (Khanty-Mansi autonomous okrug), in the middle of the river Ob on its right bank.
Surgut population is about 324,000 (2012).
The phone code is +7 3462; postal codes - 628400-628433.
Surgut is located 250 km eastwards from Khanty-Mansiysk (the capital city of the region), 708 km to the northeast from Tyumen, 2,889 km from Moscow. The city has the largest river port in the Ob River area. It is also an important railway and highway juncture (the largest in the north of Western Siberia).
The climate of the area is of sharp continental type. Winters last 7 months, average temperature in January is 22 degrees C below zero and average temperature in July is 17 degrees C above zero. Frosts can reach 50 degrees C below zero. First in Russia stay rope bridge across the Ob River was constructed in the city.
International airport “Surgut” is the largest airport in Khanty-Mansi autonomous district. The airport has new building, its own flight-booking agency and comfortable hotel with 68 rooms.
Surgut is one of the oldest Siberian cities. It was founded by Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich on February 19, 1594. It was founded by 4 persons: a voevode (governor of province in ancient Russia), a priest, a merchant and a hunter. There is a statue to the city founders on the central street.
At the end of the 16th century, Surgut was a small fortress. In the 17th-18th centuries, it was one of the centers of Russian assimilation of Siberia. In 1785, the coat of arms of the town was adopted. At the end of the 18th century, due to southern Siberian cities developing, Surgut lost its administrative importance.
At the end of the 19th century (1897 est.), the population of Surgut was about 1,100. Main trades were fishing, cattle-breeding, timber making. Since the 17th century, the town was a political exile place.
More Historical Facts…
During the World War II, the can factory from Odessa was evacuated to Surgut (it was the only industrial plant evacuated to Tyumen North); the city industry provided front with food and coal mining industry in Kuzbas with timber. Since 1957, the city became the home to the expeditions of geologists.
The 1960s were the second rebirth of Surgut which became the center of oil and gas extracting. In the mid of 1920s, academician Gubkin predicted that there were a lot of natural gas and oil deposits in Western Siberia, but because of the World War II developing of oil and gas deposits started only at the end of the 1940s.
In the middle of the 1950s, prospecting expedition came to Surgut area for the first time. Very soon there was the first oil fountain on the territory of present Surgut. Oil and gas deposits were rapidly developed in the following years. By the mid 1970s, former settlement grew into a city. On June 25th, 1965, the settlement Surgut was reformed into the city.
June 12 is celebrated as the City Day.
Surgut economics is linked with oil extracting and gas processing. The largest enterprises of the city are “Surgutneftegaz” and “Gazprom transgas Surgut”.
“Surgutneftegaz” is among the largest Russian companies. “Gazprom transgas Surgut” is the main part of “Gazprom” company.
Besides, in the city there are gas-processing and motor-fuel plants, food producing and wood-working enterprises.
Among the main places of interest of Surgut are:
- Museum of local study with renewing exhibits and large store-rooms;
- Historical and cultural center “Stary Surgut” (Surgut of the Past);
- Monument to Surgut founders (located in the very center of the city);
- Modern art gallery “Sterkh”;
- Monument to Afghanistan war soldiers;
- Monument to Siberian pilots (Mi-6 helicopter Utair located not far from the airport);
- Art museum;
- Museum of oil and gas “Gazprom”;
- Museum “Merchant’s estate”.
About 20 km to the west of the city, on the right bank of the Ob River, there is an archaeological monument Barsova Gora (60 sites of ancient settlements, 3,000 houses, burial grounds, sanctuaries and other buildings, the most ancient of which refer to the Stone Age).
Kamenny Mys is a mountain skiing center, favorite recreation place of local people and guests of the city.