Arctic oil… Should we drill and burn it ?

According to a study released today by the United States Geological Survey, a fifth of world oil and natural gas reserves may be located under the Arctic.

This would represent 90 billion barrels of oil and a lot of natural gas. As you can imagine, countries of this region – The United States, Canada and Russia – are willing to tap this real treasury.

But, wouldn’t burning all this oil spells disaster and certain doom to all of us ? This is a question I have been meaning to ask today.

Our current oil and natural gas burning are already a major threat to our common future. Arctic is already disappearing in summer time as temperatures rise higher and higher. What would happen if we tapped the oil below ?

I think it is better for us all to let this stuff where it is and start seriously thinking about a world where oil and natural gas won’t be our dominant energy sources as they are right now.

Indeed, the sooner we will act on energy efficiency, renewable energies and nuclear, the better for us all and our beloved Planet.

These actions would proved to be much more intelligent and more profitable to us all than drilling more oil from the underground.

Will this simple reflection will be read and heard by the leaders of these countries. Knowing the human tendency for greed, I doubt it…

As the International Herald Tribunes puts it :

The Arctic may contain as much as a fifth of the world’s yet to-be-discovered oil and natural gas reserves, the United States Geological Survey said Wednesday as it unveiled the largest-ever survey of petroleum resources north of the Arctic Circle.

Oil companies have long suspected that the Arctic contained substantial energy resources, and have been spending billions recently to get their hands on tracts for exploration. As melting ice caps have opened up prospects that were once considered too harsh to explore, a race has begun among Arctic nations, including the United States, Russia, and Canada, for control of these resources.

The geological agency’s survey largely vindicates the rising interest. It suggests that most of the yet-to-be found resources are not under the North Pole but much closer to shore, in regions that are not subject to territorial dispute.

“For a variety of reasons, the possibility of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic has become much less hypothetical than it once was,” Donald Gautier, the chief geologist for the survey, said during a news conference Wednesday. “Most of the resources are on the continental shelf in areas already under territorial claims.”

The assessment, which took four years, found that the Arctic may hold as much as 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil reserves, and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This would amount to 13 percent of the world’s total undiscovered oil and about 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas.

At today’s consumption rate of 86 million barrels a day, the potential oil in the Arctic could meet global demand for almost three years. The Arctic’s potential natural gas resources are three times bigger. That equals Russia’s proven gas reserves, which is the world’s largest.

The agency called the Arctic region “the largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on earth.”

The world currently holds 1.24 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves and 6,263 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves.

I would like to state that, meanwhile, oil consumption is decreasing due to oil prices. In France it went down ten percent in June alone… People are already taking actions to adjust to high oil prices.

And you, dear reader, do you believe we should drill or let the oil and gas where they are ? In any case, be sure that I will keep you updated with this situation.

So for this and for much more, stay tuned !

2 thoughts on “Arctic oil… Should we drill and burn it ?”

  1. Pingback: Sustainable development and much more… » On the exploitation of oil shale and sands…

  2. Pingback: If you think that offshore drilling is a solution…

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