Saturday, June 2, 2012

Global Warming & the Arctic Oil Rush

(Original blog is available here...)

"The question of defining to whom the Arctic resources belong to (the oil alone stands for 25% of the world's reserves) is dividing neighboring countries and includes the clauses of UN's Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the strange shape of the Lomonosov Ridge, a key issue for the diverse territorial claims: each country aims at proving that their part of the ridge belongs to their continental shelf and is not a seperate formation, in order to expand the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) to a distance of 370 nautical miles.

The USA and Canada fight for the Northwest Passage, while Norway and Russia dispute the Barents Sea and Canada and Denmark dispute the rights to a small island on the cost of Greenland.
The processes of appropriation of the wealth in the Arctic are variable and trudge along at different paces. So far, Norway leads the race, as it started, this year, its first commercial exploration of natural gas in Snohvi. In the meantime, Russia, which has planted a titanium metal flag on the seabed, 4 200m (14,000ft) below the North Pole, in a 15th century-like attempt at claiming the territory, follows Norway closely as it prepares to commercially explore oil and natural gas in Shtokman, in the Barents Sea, whose oil reserves are also disputed by Norway. Denmark is slightly behind, but it has already financed an expedition to the north of Greenland to determine the limits of their of their claim to the continental shelf. Canada, who never liked the attempt led by the USA to declare the Northwest Passage, which had always been considered "Canadian territory", as an "international strait" because it shortens the distance between Asia and Europe by 6 000 Km, is afraid of the environmental consequences of an unruly use of its waters, but doesn't restrain itself from considering itself owner of the biggest part of the Arctic and its richness. The USA, who are yet to ratify the UNCLOS, are preparing themselves to do so as a means of contextualizing their territorial claims to Alasca, assuring their share in the plundering.
It's likely that all these movements will end up being decided, as a last resort, in a rude wrestling, under the auspices of the International Criminal Court, but this degrading show will certainly go down in History as another act of greed over our planet, orchestrated by large capital and sanctioned by the international community, and which will furthermore mortgage the future of mankind."

No comments:

Post a Comment