Articles Tagged with Arctic

IMG_0066-300x200In total, the Arctic is home to more than 60 untapped natural gas fields with 43 locations falling inside Russian territory. Consequently, Russia has already set to dominate this area and its resources, building the Yamal LNG plant which cost over $27 billion to develop. New vessels valued at hundreds of millions of dollars each have also been developed specifically to travel the Arctic with greater ease. Once drilling and mining commence, this massive plant will be capable of transporting 18 million tons of natural gas out of the Arctic each year. In total, the Arctic represents 22% of all undiscovered oil and natural gas in the world.

While this represents significant value and power for Russia, its effect on the Nenet people could be devastating. With the reindeer population of the Arctic already threatened by rising temperatures, the industrialization of this land adds an even greater threat.

Previously we published an article detailing Russia’s strategy to dominate the untapped natural gas resources of the Arctic, where we briefly discussed its effect on the Nenet people of this land. Today, we are writing to further explain the struggles of the Nenets as their land becomes a haven for new drilling and mining projects in an effort to gain control over a majority of the world’s natural gas fields.

RussiaHome to 22% of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and natural gas, Russia has set its sights on the untapped resources of the Arctic. Since the 1960s, over 60 oil and natural gas fields have been discovered in the Arctic. However, freezing temperatures and hostile conditions have left these areas abandoned, leaving a minefield of valuable natural resources. But with rising temperatures comes melting ice and a significant opportunity for those who choose to pursue it.

Russia has earned a reputation for its resources-based power. “Russia historically has been a territorial and natural-resources-driven power, and it has remained so until present day,” states Agnia Grigas, author of The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas. She adds, “The focus on locking in Arctic resources and routes goes hand-in-hand with the Kremlin’s ambitions of extending its influence and great-power status beyond its territory.”.

With the abundance of undiscovered oil and natural gas now available for bidding, the Arctic’s resources have now become part of a strategic political power-play, and one that Russia does not intend to lose.