Saratov Region is part of the Volga economic district and is in third place within it in the scale of industrial development. Engineering and the chemical, oil refining, and food industries account for the largest share of production.
The electronics and instrument-making industries are characterized by a high concentration of original technologies and specialists skilled in high-end production. These enterprises have associated research institutes and experimental design offices that work on high-level scientific developments.
Saratov Oblast has a variety of subsurface resources, including gas, oil, salts, and building materials, which have been deposited according to the region’s particular geological structure. The first natural gas source was discovered in Elshanka near Saratov in 1941; and a gas pipeline was later built between Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Cherepovets. Today, the region delivers gas not only to large Russian cities, but also abroad. The gas consists of 94% methane. Oil was found soon after the gas discoveries.