The European Community's technical assistance programme for the countries of the former Soviet Union is collaborating with the World Bank on a one billion US dollar project to improve production in the oilfields of Western Siberia. Under the agreement, the Community-funded Tyumen Task Force will identify appropriate field rehabilitation projects and undertake the necessary feasibility studies to enable the board of the World Bank to complete an appraisal by the end of 1993. Technical investigation is at present identifying the oilfields to be rehabilitated. Harsh climatic conditions, waterlogged terrain and extensive pollution problems make the work particularly difficult and impose the need for careful planning plus increased consideration of the environmental impact of projects. The feasibility studies form part of a broader technical assistance package provided by the Commission from the TACIS budget to the Tyumen region. This assistance aims not only to improve oil and gas production but also to help create counterbalancing economic activities in order to reduce dependence on the single natural resource. High on the agenda are the development of alternative resources, particularly in forestry and industry.