Surgut, a city in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugra, is one of the oldest cities in Siberia. It was founded at the end of the 16th century.
Surgut is located on the sixtieth northern latitude like St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Oslo. However, unlike Europe, the climate here is sharply continental. Winter lasts about 7 months; the average monthly temperature in July is +17°C, in January is -22°C, though sometimes the temperature can reach -50°C.
The city is located on the right bank of the Ob river.
Founded as a military fortress in the center of Western Siberia, Surgut became a significant trading city in the middle of the 17th century.
Throughout its history, many famous scientists and public figures, ethnographers, historians, economists from European and Russian cities visited Surgut. The prisoners of war and revolutionaries of the late XIX-early XX century served their sentence here. Many of them left memories and scientific works about Surgut region.
In 1957, a geological exploration expedition led by a young geological engineer Farman Salmanov came to Surgut for oil field searching. Exploratory drilling was conducted in difficult living conditions, with a minimum of equipment. Four years of searching were unsuccessful, but then the discoveries of large deposits came one after another.
On November 15, 1962, the Western-Surgut oil field was discovered. During the following years, more than thirty deposits were discovered on the territory of Surgut region.
Many deposits, discovered by the first explorers and geologists, were named after them.
Today Surgut is the largest cultural and industrial center of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra and Tyumen region. It is one of the main centers of the Russian oil industry, therefore it is called the oil capital, the industrial and energy heart of the North.
In many respects, Surgut is a unique city with its own appearance, character, and way of life. The city, founded four centuries ago and transformed over the past few decades by the hard work of people who live here, can serve as a symbol of the modern Siberian North, which is severe, but rich and rapidly developing.