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he research vessel "Teisten," carrying U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, cuts through the Kongsfjorden in Ny-Alesund, Norway.

Nations seek common ground on Arctic oil and gas.

Peace at the Pole

July 2011, Number 02.03

“Trying to avert an international struggle for control of undersea oil and gas near the North Pole, NATO and Russia are inching toward a diplomatic solution to apportion the mineral riches that scientists believe rest within the Arctic. The region’s harsh climate and technological limitations of oil and gas drilling have left much of the Arctic off limits to successful exploitation. But recent warming has shrunk the size of the polar ice pack, and nations have begun staking claims to territory that was once considered economically inaccessible.

The stakes are high: The 6 percent of the globe above the Arctic Circle contains an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil and 1.7 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to a 2008 appraisal by the U.S. Geological Survey. The vast majority of those minerals lies offshore and would be easier to recover if sea ice were thin or nonexistent. “For now, the disputes in the north have been dealt with peacefully, but climate change could alter the equilibrium over the coming years in the race of temptation for exploitation of more readily accessible natural resources,” U.S. Adm. James Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander, said in an article in the guardian...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Peace at the Pole,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 2, No. 3, 2011: 54-57.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.