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Arctic - Mar 11

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Arctic Oil and Gas Ultimates

Jean Laherrere, The Oil Drum: Europe
... Conclusion

The Arctic oil and gas potential has been fairly well explored since 1943 and displayed several cycles with little discovered volumes since 1990 (despite 75 discoveries in number of fields). Known discoveries have three times more gas than oil. Most of the Arctic gas reserves are stranded (Prudhoe Bay) gas pipes from such remote places are very expensive and will be built only in a decade.

The recent attempt by the Russians to claim the North Pole is attributed to oil and gas potential. The only seismic line on the Arctic Sea I know of is from a study by the IODP:

The scientific inspiration that subsequently led to ACEX surfaced aboard F/S Polarstern in 1991 when two reflection seismic profiles (AWI-91090 and AWI-91091) were acquired by Wilfried Jokat and Yngve Kristoffersen across the Lomonosov Ridge between 87° and 88°N. These profiles show a neatly draped sediment sequence being over 400 m thick, at a modest water depth of ca 1200 m, which were considered to represent an undisturbed and continuous record of lower Eocene to Recent sediments.

A thickness of 400 m is not enough for a real oil and gas potential. The Russian's move seems to be more connected to controlling sea navigation.

Arctic oil and gas will not change much the coming world peak oil and gas!
(10 March 2008)

Could Arctic ice melt spawn new kind of cold war?

Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters
With oil above $100 a barrel and Arctic ice melting faster than ever, some of the world's most powerful countries -- including the United States and Russia -- are looking north to a possible energy bonanza.

This prospective scramble for buried Arctic mineral wealth made more accessible by freshly melted seas could bring on a completely different kind of cold war, a scholar and former Coast Guard officer says.
(9 March 2008)

Climate change may spark conflict with Russia, EU told
Alert over scramble for control of energy resources in the Arctic

Ian Traynor, Guardian
European governments have been told to plan for an era of conflict over energy resources, with global warming likely to trigger a dangerous contest between Russia and the west for the vast mineral riches of the Arctic.

A report from the EU's top two foreign policy officials to the 27 heads of government gathering in Brussels for a summit this week warns that "significant potential conflicts" are likely in the decades ahead as a result of "intensified competition over access to, and control over, energy resources".

The seven-page report, obtained by the Guardian, has been written by Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy supremo, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the commissioner for external relations. It predicts that global warming will precipitate security issues for Europe, ranging from energy wars to mass migration, failed states and political radicalisation.

The report warns of greater rich-poor and north-south tension because global warming is disproportionately caused by the wealthy north and west while its impact will be most catastrophic in the poor south.
(10 March 2008)

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