1961 SPE Annual Meeting, Dallas, October 8–11, 1961

Over the past four years, much authentic information on energy resources, technology, output and utilization in the Soviet Union has become available. The major sources have been technical Journals such as Ugol' (Coal), Neftvanove khoz Vavstvo (Petroleum Economics), and Torfvanava promvshlennost' (Peat Industry); and monographs published by the State Fuel-Technology Press (Gosgortekhizdat), the State Mining-Technology Press (Gosplanizdat), the State Electric-Power Press (Gosenergoizdat), the Coal-Technology Press (Ugletekhizdat), the State Planning Press (Gosplanizdat), and the Academies of Science of the Soviet Union and its Republics. Statistical handbooks published by the Central Statistical Administration, the Ministry or Foreign Trade and other official bodies have also proved valuable. In general, these materials are far more reliable and comprehensive than popular sources or casual Western observers. While ambiguities, gaps and errors do occur, and while differences from Western concepts and practices impose caution, the Soviet technical sources are largely competent, explicit and consistent. Properly used, the data are adequate to develop an effective understanding of Soviet techniques and accomplishments, problems and plans, in energy development and use (see also Shimkin, 1960; n.d.-a.; n.d.-b.)

In this discussion, I shall try to sketch the current energy-resource position of the Soviet Union; major trends and plans in energy output, by source and by region; and current and planned patterns of energy use. I shall also make selected comparisons with the United States, thereby highlighting distinctive features of Soviet practice. One I shall retain for consistency's sake.

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