In the autumn, the area of the Arctic covered by ice decreased, reaching its historical minimum, which opened up ice-free Northern Shipping route. In view of this, there has been a surge in plans to develop the Arctic, which included developing its oil and gas fields.
For years, experts believed that the Arctic Region contained about 20% of the world’s unexploited oil and gas reserves. Now, there are reasons to believe that the Arctic hides a much greater share of natural resources.
Director of the Shelf Laboratory of the Russian State Oil and Gas University, Doctor of Engineering, Professor Vassily Bogoyavlensky elaborated on Arctic development problems in an interview with the Voice of Russia.
The Director of the Shelf Laboratory of the Russian State Oil and Gas University, Doctor of Engineering, Professor VassilyBogoyavlensky spoke with the Voice of Russia and elaborated on the areas that Russia should focus on while developing the Arctic shelf.
The prevailing view in the 1990s that it was unprofitable to attempt to develop the Arctic has changed drastically. Back then scientific evidence that proved the Arctic was a storehouse of undiscovered mineral resources including those still undiscovered was ignored. Currently there has been an active advance north with Russian oil and gas giants launching projects to develop the Arctic.
The Arctic only accounts for about 6% of the world’s surface, but underneath the ice there may be up to 25% of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves.
One fifth of the territory of the Russian Federation is located in the Arctic which is hiding 100s of millions of tons of oil and gas. With 85% of its shelf in the Northern Seas Russia’s Arctic will lead the way in oil and gas exploration in the future.
The Arctic Region is one of Russia’s strategically important areas and among the Russian Federation’s priority projects for the Arctic is the development of the Shtokman Field.
The current exploration of the Arctic region and plans to develop energy sources in the Arctic are all signs of what is proving to be a breakthrough in modern mineral production and the beginning of a new era in world energy production.
If we are to protect our environment and ensure the future of the world there then exists a need to study climatic processes and environment pollution which calls for environmental monitoring; devising risk simulation, analysis and management techniques, involving the use of geographic information systems and technologies.
The Voice of Russian spoke to the Director-General of the National Energy Security Foundation Konstantin Simonov on the prospects for Arctic development and the Northern Sea Route and the ecological risks involved in Arctic gas production.
In 2010 the Gulf of Mexico oil spill prompted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to put forward a raft of proposals covering insurance against a huge assortment of risks in case of a repeat of such a catastrophe in the future.
The Arctic plays a very important role in maintaining the environmental balance on the Earth. Due to its importance as the origin of much of the world’s weather patterns and its dynamic and unstable climate processes this region is very important for global environmental security.
Nobody regards the Arctic as a dead zone anymore. Its vast ice caps hide 7% of the world’s oil and 33% of its gas reserves, together with gold, diamonds and other minerals. Global warming and the melting of the Arctic permafrost will soon unlock the Arctic Ocean treasures.
A monumental struggle for the Arctic is taking place almost unnoticed amid the on-going geo-political upheavals in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The Russian Federation has initiated a new phase in the development of the Arctic but efforts have faced, among other obstacles, budgetary constraints. Despite this fact there is no doubt that the Arctic is about to become one of the world’s transportation and industrial centers.
The overall area of the Russian Arctic sector, including the ocean space, is more than 6 million square kilometres. The area is believed to contain the bulk of the world’s hydrocarbons and other mineral resources.
Who has a right to a share of “the Arctic pie”, only coastal nations or all of the countries of the world?
The world is facing acute energy shortages. Amid the rising demand for oil and gas and the dwindling amounts of accessible fuel resources, competition for resources is getting tougher. As a result, humanity is being forced to look to the Arctic for deposits that were considered unprofitable in the past.