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last updated 18-Aug-2020
  Climate change and the consequential melting of Arctic sea ice have made mineral exploration and exploitation of the North Pole possible. At the same time, there are unresolved issues in terms of borders and ownership of potential mineral findings. The question remains, could the Arctic become an arena of conflict over the control of large hydrocarbon reserves? There is also the issue of the potential degradation of the delicate ecosystem of the region, which will have global consequences. This page consolidates resources addressing these issues.  


Russia Preparing Patrols of Arctic Shipping Lanes. The Ministry of Defense announced the move after a flotilla led by the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet — the Pyotr Velikiy, or Peter the Great — completed a trip across the Arctic Ocean last week. By Andrew E. Kramer, The Telegraph, September 14, 2013: TEXT

Canada's drone squadron grounded. The plan to buy the pilotless aircraft to conduct surveillance in the Arctic had fallen behind schedule because the military didn't have enough people to fly the drones. By David Pugliese, Postmedia News, December 28, 2012: click here

Russia moots Arctic oil licences for west. Alexander Novak, energy minister, told the Financial Times that the proposal would allow foreign majors not only to operate offshore projects but “have access to production.” By Guy Chazan, The Financial Times, October 4, 2012: click here

Total warns against oil drilling in Arctic. Total’s chief executive Christophe de Margerie told the Financial Times the risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area was simply too high. By Guy Chazan, The Financial Times, September 24, 2012: click here

U.K. Lawmakers Call for Moratorium on Arctic Oil & Gas Drilling. Committee Chairman Joan Walley said that “The infrastructure to mount a big clean-up operation is simply not in place.” By Alex Morales, Bloomberg, September 19, 2012: click here

Environmental Audit Committee, UK House of Commons. Protecting the Arctic. Second Report of Session 2012–13. Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence. London, Printing Office, September 12, 2012: html | PDF

Volume II: Additional written evidence: html | PDF | Corrected Evidence (HC 1739-ii i) - 29 February 2012; released April 18, 2012: html

Energy: Drills, chills and spills. The melting of the Arctic sea ice is making exploration easier, but extracting fuel remains difficult and expensive. By Ed Crooks and Guy Chazan, The Financial Times, September 4, 2012: click here

Canada looks to patrol Arctic with drone. Northrop Grumman is developing an ultra-modern unmanned spy aircraft to allow Canada to defend its vast Arctic territory. By Carola Hoyos, The Financial Times, may 30, 2012: click here

Fact Sheet: Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR). U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman, (2011/741), 12 May 2011: click here

Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA): Climate Change and the Cryosphere. SWIPA Scientific Assessment Report, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, 2011: (various formats including video) click here




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