What Are Some of Russia’s Natural Resources?

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Russia has enormous deposits of natural resources, including oil and natural gas. It is a major energy exporter, and potentially contains 20 percent of the world’s natural resources.

The Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook lists Russia’s natural resources as: oil and natural gas, coal, strategic minerals, rare earth elements and timber. However, it notes that the country’s resources have not been fully exploited because of difficulties related to Russia’s climate, terrain and vast land area. Should these difficulties be overcome, Russia could potentially supply 20 percent of the world’s natural resources.

As of 2013, Russia was the world’s third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and the United States. Its economy is heavily dependent on energy production and export, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration; over 50 percent of its federal budget revenues come from oil and gas. These products make up 70 percent of the country’s exports.

Russia is the world’s third-largest generator of nuclear power and, as of 2013, had 10 nuclear reactors under construction. It has large coal reserves, but produces little coal.

The country also has a mining industry which produces metal ore, including: iron, copper, aluminum, gold, chromium and silver. As of 2005, in fact, Russia was considered the world’s wealthiest country in terms of gold reserves. It also mines phosphates, diamonds, salt and amber. The country’s vast timber reserves also make it a leader in the world’s wood market.