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The Resource Rich Arctic

By Brendan Krisel

In 2008, the United States Geological Survey released the first ever assessment of Arctic Oil and Gas. According to the Survey approximately 90 billion barrels of oil, 1,669 trillion cubic ft, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids may be recovered in the Arctic. These figures represent 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of undiscovered natural gas. 

As sea ice recedes to all-time lows the opportunity to exploit these resources grows even greater, but at what cost? It has shown that pursuing Arctic resources will accelerate climate change and have devastating consequences for indigenous communities and wildlife. However, it seems that regardless of the potential risks for harm, Arctic projects involving resource extraction will continue. This map identifies six of the richest Arctic regions in resources, highlighting numerous oil and gas exploration and development projects within them.

Click on the image above to download PDF version.

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Brendan Krisel is an editorial assistant at World Policy Journal

[Photo courtesy of Jeff Dunnicliff]

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