The Yamal Peninsula
(), located in Yamal-Nenets autonomous district
of northwest Siberia
, extends roughly 700 km (435 mi) and is bordered principally by the Kara Sea
, Baydaratskaya Bay
on the west, and by the Gulf of Ob
on the east. In the language of its indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets
, "Yamal" means "End of the World".
consists mostly of permafrost
ground and is geologically a very young place —some areas are less than ten thousand years old.
In the Russian Federation, the Yamal peninsula is the place where traditional large-scale nomadic reindeer
husbandry is best preserved. On the peninsula, several thousand Nenets and Khanty
reindeer herders hold about half a million domestic reindeer. At the same time, Yamal is inhabited by a multitude of migratory bird species.
Yamal holds Russia's biggest natural gas
reserves. The Bovanenkovskoye
deposit is planned to be developed by the Russian gas monopolist Gazprom
by 2011-2012, the Yamal project
, a fact which put the future of nomadic reindeer herding at considerable risk. An estimate of the gas reserves here is 55 trillion cubic meters
(tcm), the world's biggest gas reserves and Russias largest energy project in history. The area is largely undeveloped, but work is going on with three large infrastructure projects – the new 572km Obskaya–Bovanenkovo railway
due to be completed in 2011, a gas pipeline,... Read More