Hungary Table of Contents
In the late 1980s, Hungary's coal deposits totaled about 4.5 billion tons and included hard coal (about 15 percent of the total), brown coal (30 percent) and lignite (55 percent). Hungarian coal generally has a low energy content and lies at great depths in thin seams, making mining difficult and costly. Deep mines in the Mecsek Mountains near Pecs and Komlo yield dusty hard coal and coal suitable for coking. Thick layers of higher-quality brown coal lie 200 to 300 meters beneath Tatabanya and Dorog, while lower-quality brown coal lies under the Carpathian foothills near Miskolc and in the central Danube Plain. The Varpalota Basin in Veszprem County and the southern slopes of the Matra Mountains yield lignite. Hungarian experts predict that the country's coal reserves will last about 400 years at the production levels attained in the late 1980s.
Hungary's natural-gas and oil deposits are far smaller than its coal reserves. The country's largest natural-gas deposits are located near Szeged, Hajduszoboszlo, and Miskolc. Geologists hoped to discover additional natural-gas deposits but predicted that natural-gas reserves would run dry in fifteen to twenty years. Small crude-oil deposits lie beneath Szeged, Zala County, and other areas. The Zala crude is highly viscous and difficult to transport. Wells at Lispeszentadorjam, Lovaszi, and other sites yield high-quality oil, but in the late 1980s the deposits were almost exhausted. In the late 1970s, drillers struck oil in the mid-Danube-Tisza region (the central part of the country) and near Sarkeresztur, Endröd, and Ulles. However, geologists anticipated no new major oil discoveries and expected the wells to run dry by the year 2000.
In the 1950s, Hungary began mining uranium near Pecs with Soviet assistance. In the late 1980s, estimates of the actual size of the country's uranium deposits were unavailable, but official sources indicated that Hungary had uranium reserves sufficient to supply its domestic needs until about the year 2020. In the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union guaranteed Hungary's future nuclear-fuel needs.
Data as of September 1989