October 27, 2005

Oil & gas in the Arctic

BBC News has been doing a series of articles on the effects of global warming and the melting of the ice caps on oil and gas exploration and other new opportunities for the Arctic region.

Arctic exploration creates new alliances - 23/10 - discusses new Norwegian strategies to make more use of the Arctic's resources, and to cooperate with other countries involved.
The Arctic's new gold rush - 25/10 - discusses the issues arising between the five countries bordering the Arctic
Global warming: help or hindrance? - 27/10 - discusses the Arctic's opportunites for energy security

A main point is that as the Arctic ice is melting new opportunities arise to develop the oil fields in the region. Some analysts expect that this area holds up to 25%(!) of the world's undiscovered energy resources (25/10 article). Especially with rising energy prices this is becoming more attractive if current technical difficulties can be overcome.

Some interesting issues are raised in connection to this. There are various territorial disputes between the countries bordering the Artic: the US, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia. This also involves fishing rights, access to shipping routes and so on.

It looks as if this area will become increasingly important. And, with the potential for conflict causing new alliances between countries. Interesting articles about a not very 'visible' part of the world.

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