Arctic’s Oil Could Supply World for Three Years

September 21, 2007 01:03 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The region may hold about 90 billion barrels of oil, which could meet world demand for a few years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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It was also predicted that the region could contain 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

“Before we can make decisions about our future use of oil and gas and related decisions about protecting endangered species, native communities and the health of our planet, we need to know what’s out there,” said USGS Director Mark Myers to National Geographic.

Previously, the U.S. Geological Survey had predicted that the area holds up to 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves.

The estimate comes amid increasing competition between nations to claim the region’s resources as global warming makes the area more accessible and creates the possibility that new, lucrative shipping passages between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans will open up.

Teams of American, Danish, Canadian and Russian scientists have all converged on the North Pole, each trying to establish its own nation’s claims. And in 2007, Moscow announced that rock samples taken from beneath the Arctic Ocean indicate that the North Pole is part of Russia.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a nation must establish that its own continental shelf extends beneath an ocean territory before claiming it. All the Russian rock samples prove is that the seabed is most likely a continental shelf.

Headline Link: USGS predicts Arctic holds three years worth of oil

Background: The cold rush

Reference: The IPCC, the USGS

Related Topics: An ice-free North Pole?


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