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Soviet Union Table of Contents

Soviet Union


In the 1980s, fuels presented formidable problems for Soviet planners. Although the Soviet Union possessed enormous fuel reserves, it was difficult to balance extraction and transport costs, even as the drive continued for greater production levels. Fuel availability was a prime consideration in locating new industry. And long-term investment planning faced choices among coal, oil, and natural gas. Choices leaned strongly in the late 1980s toward gas over oil because of the greater reserves and cheaper transport of gas. Nevertheless, efforts also continued to formulate a "coal strategy" that would return coal to its former prominence. In 1988 about 28 percent of total national investment went into the Soviet fuel and energy complex, compared with nearly 12 percent in 1980.

Data as of May 1989