Unexplored Oil and Gas Resources in the Arctic, Mostly Russian

May 29, 2009 / No Comments

They say the balance of power shifts with the control over natural gases and oil reserves. It might be the right notion with Russia, US, Canada and Denmark staking their claim over the region that falls north of the Arctic Circle.

arctic ice Unexplored Oil and Gas Resources in the Arctic, Mostly Russian

These countries would get back to staking their claims as scientists from the USGS in collaboration with international researchers have revealed that the Arctic may hold twice the oil previously found there. Not just the oil reserves, the sedimentary basins in the area, also house natural gas reserves.

Scientists used geological estimates and probability models to asses the amount of sedimentary deposits in the area. Apparently, almost 4% of the world’s undiscovered oil still falls close to the Arctic Circle with 40 to 160 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and some 30% of the world’s undiscovered gases.

But here’s the interesting fact. The report states that two thirds of the natural gases are in just four areas– South Kara Sea, North Barents Basin, South Barents Basin and the Alaska Platform.

These are mostly on Russian territory!

And with Russia already the world’s leading natural gas producer, one wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the Russian strategic control is likely to be accentuated and extended in the near future. Also if you consider last year’s gas crisis when Russia stopped any gas deliveries to Europe after a political conflict with Ukraine, that theory may already have a base.

[via CNN] Image by ashpollack