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Development of fossil fuel resources in the Arctic, 2005

Year: 2005
From collection: Reference maps
Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Barents Sea: The 2004 lifting of an embargo on offshore hydrocarbon exploration in the Norwegian Barents has renewed activity there. Regulation of exploration is animportant political issue. Debate in 2005 focused on environmental protection and establishing areas free of oil development. In Russia five companies were selected as finalists in the joint development of the Shtokman gas field, in the Barents Sea. This field is estimated to hold twice the known gas reserves of Canada. Mackenzie Delta and Pipeline: In Canada debate continues about developing hydrocarbon reserves in the Mackenzie Delta and constructing a 1220-kilometre pipeline to link with existing pipelines supplying southern Canadaand the U.S. Primary issues include ensuring local economic benefits (especially to indigenous peoples), and cumulative environmental effects. Alaska Beaufort Sea Coast: Since the start of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field development in 1969, facilities and infrastructure have expanded to about 260 000 ha, producing a total of 15 million million barrels of oil and bringing economic development to the region. Studies show that caribou have shifted their calving grounds away from the oilfields. In 2005, after political dispute and intense lobbying, the US government withdrew its latest proposal to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to hydrocarbon exploration.
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