Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tuesday, February THI LITHPRIDOI HERALD-I Russian Tyumen region rich in oil Editor's Note: In view of the oil potential la Canada's Arctic area, the following article by the Soviet Union's Novostl Press Agency will be of interest. The Samotlar area mentioned is straight across the North Pole from Yellowknife and about the same distance from the Pole. The northern Tyumen area, once a sparsely populated region with severe climatic conditions in Western Siberia, is now referred to as the country's fuel depot. The ninth Five-Year Plan (1971-1975) calls for the oil production in the area to reach 120-125 million tons. Today 4t has become clear that the plan will be considerably exceeded so that in 1975 the Tyumen oilmen will produce 140-150 million tons of the valuable fuel. (One metric ton equals about 5.3 barrels. The figure mentioned roughly equals Canada's total annual The name of Samotlor stands for "birch-trees in a godforsaken spot" in the local language of the Khanty people. Until recently it was indeed a most adequate description of the place. A few years ago, however, the once "godforsaken spot" opened up its huge reserves of oil to be taken out by people. Samotlor, which is regarded as the biggest oil deposit in the U.S.S.R., ranks among the five richest oilbearing fields in the world Its estimated reserves amount to many thousands of millions of tons. The geologists believe that oil was formed there in the Cretaceous period around a hundred million years ago with a warm sea splashing about and tropical forests along the shores. Today, there is a huge marshy lake thousand and a half square kilometres in area. In winter when the temperature drops to fifty degrees below, the lake is covered by a thin layer of ice. In summertime it is absolutely impassable for any type of vehicle. In winter, cross-country machines and tractors get bogged down in the icy slime and can move along at a tortoise's speed. An assembly crew covered fifty kilometres a month while moving to the site of the first derrick in Samotlor. They made no more than 1.5 or 2 kilometres a day. However, the first oil gusher spurted out in May 1985. At present, the huge oil-field employs over 25 thousand people. Among them are assembly-men, drillers, road builders, power technicians, construction workers, physicians, teachers, etc. People of 40 nationalities are tapping the oil reserves of Samotlor. One can say that the entire nation is developing the area. The Ukraine is sending tractors and pumps, Byelorussia trucks and building machinery, Georgia pipes and welding equip- ment, Armenia power plants and communication equipment, Azerbaijan drilling rigs and oil equip- ment, Kazakhstan machine-tools and cables. The total lack of roads was the major difficulty to be overcome by the pioneers of Samotlor. Roads proved to be essential for the development of the area as hundreds of tons of steel structures and heavy machinery and equipment were to be brought to the place to mount a derrick, sink a well or lay a pipeline. The cost of road construction in the area runs into a million roubles per kilometre. It is the most expensive road not only in the U.S.S.R. but perhaps in the whole world. Despite the high cost of construction, there are plenty of concrete roads circling the Samotlor oil-field. Nearby the oil-field, there is a new town of Nizhnevar- tovsk which has sprung up in the place where there used to be a tiny out-of-the-way fishermen's community in the taiga. Today, the population of the centre of oil industry in the Tyumen region has reached people. The oilmen are driven to the oil- field by buses. The first tons of Samotlor oil were produced in 1965, in 1969 the productions rose to 1.3 million tons, in 1970 to four million tons, while in 1972 the figure reached 21 million tons In 1973 the Samotlor oil-fields are to produce 38 million tons of quality low-sulphur oil. The 1975 plan calls for 80 million tons while a few years later Samotlor oil production wiil account for more than 100 million tons. The experts maintain that the figure is not the limit of the oil-field. There are very few oil-fields like the one in Samotlor in the planet There is no doubt about the unique nature of the deposit. The geologists, however, are convinced the Tyumen bowels are concealing vast reserves so Book reviews that new rich oil-fields are to be found in the near future. Professor Ivan Nesterov, director of the West Siberian Oil Prospecting Institute, Lenin Prize winner, says that so far only a few per cent of the huge territory of the Tyumen region has been explored and that the major discoveries are yet to come. At present, the geologists are engaged in surveying work in the extreme north. "We are Professor Nesterov commented, "that the oil reserves in the polar areas are far greater than those discovered in Western Siberia, particularly in the Samotlor oil-field." The theoretical studies made by scientists are borne out by practical work. A short while ago oil gushed from the prospect hole drilled in the Urengoisky oil-field beyond the Arctic Circle. Extraordinary basketball player "Wilt: Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door" by Wilt Chamberlain awl David Shaw. (Collier-McMillan Canada Ltd., pages, Wilt Chamberlain's ego is as large as he is but he's en- titled to be egotistical The man is the greatest basketball player who ever lived, and in case you don't believe that, check the record books and notice the 64 all-time NBA records he has. While Wilt dwells mainly on himself and his achievements, he does make some excellent comments on other facets of life His points on the Black athlete are extremely interesting And theyYe not all one sided either e g 'Black pride is a good idea but not as good as human pride A complex, articulate in- dividual. Wilt's skill with words is on a par with his skill on the court His is an ex- citing, controversial book an honest, strightforward assessment of what he thinks, about girls, basketball, life, coaches, etc: e.g. Butch Van Breda Kolf "The worst coach I've ever had." Wilt is outspoken, to say the least, and he nps players, situations, writers and team- mates with reckless abandon It makes for great reading, but I'll bet it doesn't endear him to too many hearts, e.g. "Bill Russell couldn't score as well as I could, if he had a stepladder. three basketballs and a cannon with a rangefmder." Besides his basketball talents. Wilt has become known for his plus, home. A magnificent triangle- oriented structure, with a master bedroom, ft sq with 14 ft. ceilings, an 8x9 bed and a closet 8x20 The mirror covered ceiling parts to let in the stars. He's proud of his home, and woe to any who knock it. Columnist Jim Murray knocked it, and Wilt vents his anger on him. Wilt spends a chapter deal- ing with his size. He scores many points in an effort to rationalize his stature But no matter what he says or thinks, he's extremely tall, extremely talented and extremely rich therefore he's a little bit apart from the rest of us. Wilt's story is enjoyable It provides a look into Chamberlain the man, not Chamberlain the spectacle. He comes through with bravado but also displays some deep feelings. It is a book about basket- ball, it is a book about life. It is a book about life in basket- ball, and about a man's struggles to survive in that tinsel-type existence as an in- dividual It is a book about a millionaire sportsman's pur- suit of happiness GARRY ALLISON Another Grecian hero "The Man With The Black Worrybeads" by George N. .Romanes (Clark, Irwin ft Company Ltd. 360 pages, A novel about life in Greece under Nazi occupation during the Second World War, this first book of a new author is written with great sincerity and, I presume, from personal knowledge and experience. It is therefore a tremendously powerful story which, after a subdued start, builds up all the tension, excitement and drama of wartime resistance, intrigue, starvation and, in spite of it all, love. 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Edmonton; 425-2IT0 2fff-9fff Other Dirt 'tr (tin) torZmHti33000 TonFree Talk with a Communications Consultant Keeps you in touch anywhere mans had occupied practically the whole of Europe and Rommel was still victorious in North Africa, Petros Zer- vas staged a spectacular break-in to German military headquarters to spirit away the giant figure of an old man's personal patron saint for no reason other than his affection for that old man. Because of that feat, he was chosen by British Intelligence as the underground leader destined to cut the life-line of supplies to the Panzer Corps in Africa. How Petros organized a massive attack on German supply ships loaded and anchored in the Piraeus har- bor, involving all parties, Ger- mans, the British, .Petros, best friend, Nico, even Trudi, the lovely Austrian mistress of the German commander, draws the reader into the story and has the effect of making him a participant. The portrayal of characters and events is so lively, one forgets that more than a quarter of a century has pass- ed since the end of that war. If additional reasons are needed for recommending this par- ticular novel, they are that Greece has been in the news for many years now and again was in the fore-front before and after the latest coup there. The people of Greece have always, throughout their long and troubled history, produced heroes who fought against oppression and dic- tatorship for their freedom and their ancient culture. The man with the black worrybeads was only one of many bat is truly represen- tative of the simple but tenacious character of the Greek freedom fighter. EVA BREWSTER Books in brief "I Will Go Barefoot All Slimmer for by Katie Letcber Lyle (J. B. Lippiacott Company, distributed by McClelland and Stewart Limited, A light little novel about the growing-up process of Jennie Preston as she struggles with finding her identity and relating to someone who would love her. ELSPETH WALKER "Doctor te iae Node" by Richard Gordon (William Heinemaaa Limited, 1M Book reviews A disappointing play "A SENSE OF DETACHMENT" by John Osborne (Oxford University Those who remember playwright John Osborne for his explosive entry on to the London stage in 1956 with Look Back in Anger will read his most recent play A Sense of Detachment with a sense of keen disappointment. But those who have either read or experienced the 12 or so plays in between, although perhaps being saddened, will hardly be surprised that Osborne's dramatic world which began with such a loud bang has quieted to such an unimpressive whimper. The seeds of dissolution which have been growing steadily for 13 years are indeed to be found in the very element that gave strength to his first plays: in the flood of astringent invective which tingled his early audiences into surprised involvement, without destroying concern for the principal figure of each play. Jimmy Porter may have annoyed us; but he also interested us. Who was he attacking? The Establishment? The Conservative Government? Britain? His wife? Himself? It was all pretty vague; but at least it was exciting. And if the object of the attacks remained vague in the subsequent plays, the attacker himself slowly came into silhouette. Archie Rice in The Entertainer, George Holyoake in A Subject of Scandal and Concern, Luther in the play of that name, Red! in A Patriot for Me, even Wyatt Gillman in West of Suez are all eminently recognizable individuals, genuinely angry and genuinely lonely, marooned in a world without love. Each, at his best is a man who, by refusing to be anyone but himself, paradoxically comes to emblematize that spiritual and moral bankrupt, Twentieth Century Everyman. Bill Maitland, in what I consider to be Osborne's finest play, Inadmissible Evidence, is just such a man, as, alone on a darkening stage at the close of his play he speaks into a possibly disconnected telephone to a wife he may no longer have. At what point then, did Osborne's succeeding efforts become failing ones, and why71 have said that when Osborne explores the painful realm of private identity unself- consciously and without didactic intent, he is a fine dramatist whose sensitivity to the human condition communicates itself with great poignancy. But there is another side to John Osborne, and one that has been gaining on him in recent years. For he is also Hamlet possessed by a desire to play the clown; a cyme who wants to moralize; an introvert trying to be a popular preacher; and his attempts to achieve these ambitions in public have resulted in some very uneven plays. For be is too ponderous to be genuinely funny; too passionate to be a successful satirist; and far too vague about what he believes to be a preacher. Yet he needs to draw blood: he en- joys the howls of the mob. One realizes bow much of Osborne went into the making of Archie Rice, the entertainer who lingers out a love affair with an audience he despises to warm himself to life; and who, increasingly, is unable to prompt any response. More and more Osborne's frontal attacks have alienated his audience; and more and more the isolation of his principal figure has become that of the dramatist himself. The title of his latest play tells its own story. His sensitivity stung by countless critics, and usurped by a generation of playwrights 20 years younger (and 20 times more revolutionary) than himself, Osborne in A Sense of Detachment has withdrawn to the point where, like Bill Maitland, he is not sure if he has an audience or not Stage directions like "As the audience returns, if indeed it does return and "He surveys the audience and addresses them If there is still any are to me highly significant. In one sense Osborne would like to get rid of the audience altogether. But although like Raina Petkoff in the Shaw play, Osborne "wants to be he would be just as furious as that contradictory young lady if he were to be ignored. Of the play itself little need be said. It has neither plot nor wit, incident nor intellectual conflict. A group of unidentified people of all ages and both sexes (called variously Chap, Girl, Father, Older Lady, etc.) grumble on to the stage in search of a play, sit around and yawningly discuss all the horrid things that Osborne loves and doesn't like. The list is long and seems to include plays generally, other playwrights (Pinter, Beckett, et al) audiences and critics. Occasionally the actors pause to hurl schoolboy crudities at a planted "Interrupter" in the stalls, whose drunken state Osborne makes the excuse for some of the feeblest verbal foolery that I have seen from his pen. At intervals a gentle old lady reads passages of pornography, while the others recite poetry (by Yeats, among crank a barrel organ, or play drawingroom songs of the Edwardian era on the piano. But even this note of nostalgia cannot conceal the emptiness behind the eyes, and the suggestion of ennui which permeate this play. The best that can be said for the play is that it doesn't take itself seriously; but those of us accustomed to taking its author so can only look back more in sorrow than in anger at a bright promise unfulfilled. BRIAN F. TYSON Recommended for educators "Enemies Of Promise" by Cyril Conully (Andre Dentsch Ltd. pages, It is said, the more money we spend on Canadian education, the greater our rate of illiteracy. That doesn't make sense, does it? "Enemies of Promise" is a book I would heartily recommend to combat this unfortunate trend to all concerned with English language, literature, worthwhile reading and writing. The first part of this book deals with the attempt to find the reason for the generally short-lived fame of contemporary writing. While this could be a dull subject in the hands of a less qualified writer, Connally makes it highly entertaining. His very first chapter provokes the reader into a fighting mood, longing for a debate on the author's controversial statements on writers who, for at least one generation, have been a "must" for English students. To mention just a few, be considers among many modern classics those of Galsworthy, Benoet and Lawrence "dead" and Huxley, Moore, Joyce, Yeats and Virginia Woolf "out of fashion." He claims that E. M. Forster's novels "may survive the pamphlet form of Shaw's plays because Forster is an artist and Shaw is not." He regards long-time best-sellers like "The Bridge of San Luis "Decline and "Brave New World" and "Good-bye, Mr. Chips" among others as vastly overrated and then- "success quite out of proportion to their merit... which now reacts unfavorably on their authors, because the overexciUble public have been fooled." ConnaUy's incidental criticism of many famous writers atone is so exciting, it should stimulate even the most reluctant English student at high school and university level into, voluntarily, devouring the vast number of celebrated books which op to now be considered an irksome, often boring duty. In the second part, the author examines "enemies of literature" and the reasons for their "high rate of mortality." To the ques- tions of certain "literary dw-hards, old cats who sit purring over the mousthotei of talent in wait for what comes out." "Is tins age really more unfavorable to writers than any he answers: "Yes, because a writer needs money more than in the ivory tower decade "Yes, because he is more tempted today than at any other time by those remunerative substitutes for good writing: journalism, reviewing, advertising, broadcasting etc. "but most of all because a writer today can have no confidence in posterity and therefore is inclined to lack the strongest inducement to good work: the desire for survival." If you consider that "Enemies of Promise" first appeared hi 1938, was revised and reprinted in 1918 and reissued unchanged in 1973, yet is as fresh and interesting today as if it had been written yesterday, this long survival alone might be encouraging a wider readership. The third part, "A Georgian is a marvellous autobiography and account of life in Eton. At first glance, it may bear no relation to the first 16 chapters. Indeed, critics have suggested it should have been published separately or, at least, be read first. I do not agree. To explain the author's reason for putting it last: "Every critic writes as if he were infallible, and pretends that he is the embodiment of impartial intellectual sanity, a reasonable though omniscient pontiff. But without his surplice the preacher of the loftiest sermon is only human and now is the moment to step down from the pulpit to disrobe in the vestry. The autobiography... is intended to be such a disrobing." In my far from humble opinion, "Enemies of Promise" should be a must to be read by all English language and literature educators just as the literature mentioned in it is a "must" for their students. I sincerely believe it would take the tedium out of their teaching merely by stimulating debate. One word of warning and, again, I quote the author: the way I write and the things I like to wnte about make no appeal to the working class nor can I make any bridge to them tin they are ready for it So I greet you my educated fellow bourgeois, whose interests and doubts I share." EVA BREWSTER The dean of SI SwithhVs Medical School has problems. His amorous daughter, peculiar relatives, and queru- lous colleagues are being dif- ficult; he's also worried about an impending visit by the Queen. The poor dean has some tense moments but be manages to overcome some improbable happenings in and around a famous London hospital. Fans of Richard Gordon shouldn't be disappointed in his latest doctor story. If you're looking for some light bumorous reading then relax and laugh your way through this book. TERRY MORRIS ON THE USE OF WORDS By Theodore M. Bernstein More ttun one. Though technically plural, more thai one is regarded singular Huts, this sentence is incorrect: "An F.B.I. agent said that more than hijacker were on the plane." The were should be changed to WM. The reason for this peculiarity is what grammarians call "attraction" the verb is singular by attraction not only to the one, but also to the singular noon Mjacfcer. The verb would be plural only if the phrase nere tkn one was split apart (clumsily) thus introducing the plural hijackers and weakening the attraction: "An F.B.I, agent said that mere hijackers ihea were on the plane." Wort Why is a plumber caued a ptember? Very simple. Far, far back be was an artisan who worked in lead. In Latin be was a pimnbnrm and that word came from the Latin ptembam, meaning lead Today be works not only in lead, but also in tin and zinc and pipes and plastic and in the bathroom And he's no kind of bom at an.