The origin of the city is associated with oil field development. People knew about the oil as far back as the 15th century. The first not too successful attempt at oil extraction was made by F. S. Pryadunov in the mid-18th century. A century later another unsuccessful attempt to get Ukhta oil was made by M.K. Sidorov, a manufacturer. The were a number of other unsuccessful attempts in the late 19th and early 20th century.
In 1929, an expedition of the State Political Department began construction of the Chibyu camp community at the mouth of the Chibyu River. The first oil-rig was in place by the spring of 1930. Half a year later, the well was producing an industrial flow of oil. Over the next 8 years, Chibyu was transformed into a large settlement: there were two-story wooden houses for camp workers, barracks for prisoners, a school, an educational building and dormitory of the Mining College, a theatre club, a park with a summer theatre, a department store, a stadium and a hotel. There also was running water, a sewage system and a radio network.
The history of Ukhta's birth is the history of exploring northern riches with the "camp" methods of the 1930s. Throughout a decade, thousands of USSR citizens were relocated to the camp in this area. They built a railway and coaling plants. They worked in mines in Yareg (where heavy oil is still extracted) and cut timber. Representatives of the Russian intelligentsia who could be found in the Ukhta-lzhma Camp include: P. Gubenko (Ostap Vishnya), a satirist; A. Svanidze, a statesman and brother of Stalin's first wife; A. Todorsky, a corps commander and former head of the Zhukovsky Military Academy; and many other people - geologists, doctors and scientists. The geologists, former prisoners of the Ukhta-lzhma Camp, organized a scientific school for regional geological and mineralogical research.
The Ukhta-Pechora Camp, second in size, also explored and extracted mineral resources, cut timber, and engaged in agriculture and shipbuilding. From 1930 to 1937, 134 geological and 168 topographic groups conducted research in the area of the Komi Republic, mainly in today's Ukhta, Sosnogorsk, Izhma and Pechora Areas. The Ukhta-Pechora Camp is well-known for large mutinies resulting in strikes, hunger-strikes and a rebellion attempt in 1936. When the resistance was quashed, more than 2000 persons were shot. This was known as "Kashketin's execution" after Kashketin, a lieutenant of state security, and head of the punitive operation.
In 1938, the camp authorities were replaced by the civil administration, and in 1939 Chabyu was renamed into Ukhta. In the same year, a thermal ectric power station and an oil refinery were commissioned, and the Aikino- Shezham - Ukhta railway was opened. The Komi government even proposed transferring the capital of the republic from Syktyvkar to Ukhta.
The workers' community was transformed into a town in 1943. There were approximately 6000 people there. In 1953, Ukhta obtained the status of a city under e jurisdiction of the republic. Today Ukhta is a modern young town (in terms of the average age of Komi residents), and it has good economic, industrial and social prospects. The town's economy is based on the enterprises and units of Gazprom, Lukoil, Transneft and Unified Energy Systems.
Ухта – визитная карточка / сост. В. Г. Постников. - Ухта, 1995. - С. 7-10.
Терр. Орган Фед. Службы гос. статистики по Республике Коми Демографический ежегодник Республики Коми: стат. сборник 2010. - Сыктывкар, 2010. - С.13.