Arctic Offshore Oil, Gas, and Mineral Resources

Oil Producing Region:OilGasTotal
million barrelsbillion ft³million BOE†
West Siberian Basin:
3,659.88
651,498.56
132,571.56
Arctic Alaska:
29,960.64
221,397.60
72,765.52
East Barents Basin:
7,406.49
317,557.97
61,755.10
East Greenland Rift Basins:
8,902.13
86,180.06
31,387.04
Yenisey-Khatanga Basin:
5,583.74
99,964.26
24,919.61
Amerasia Basin:
9,723.58
56,891.21
19,747.14
West Greenland-East Canada:
7,274.40
51,818.16
17,063.35
Laptev Sea Shelf:
3,115.57
32,562.84
9,409.87
Norwegian Margin:
1,437.29
32,281.01
7,322.19
Barents Platform:
2,055.51
26,218.67
6,704.00
Eurasia Basin:
1,342.15
13,475.43
5,108.31
North Kara Basins and Platforms:
1,807.26
14,973.58
4,693.07
Timan-Pechora Basin:
1,167.21
9,062.59
3,380.44
North Greenland Sheared Margin:
1,349.80
1,249.803,324.09
Lomonosov-Makarov:
1,106.78
7,156.252,491.04
Sverdrup Basin:
851.11
8,596,362,475.04
Lena-Anabar Basin:
1,912.89
2,106.752,320.43
North Chukchi-Wrangel Foreland Basin:
85.99
6,065.761,203.52
Vilkitskii Basin:
98.03
5,741.871,156.63
Northwest Laptev Sea Shelf:
172.24
4,486.121,039.90
Lena-Vilyui Basin:
376.86
1,335.20635.06
Zyryanka Basin:
47.82
1,505.99338.95
East Siberian Sea Basin:
19.73
618.83133.78
Hope Basin: 2.47648.17121.87
Northwest Canada Interior Basins:
23.24
305.3415.24
Total: 89,963.211,668,657.84412,157.09
†BOE : barrels of oil equivalent (oil + gas)
USGS - http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3049/fs2008-3049.pdf

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has estimated that the Arctic may hold a majority of the world’s remaining untapped oil and gas reserves, and predicts the majority of these to be located offshore. As oil and gas reserves have proved increasingly difficult to find in warmer areas, these reserves have become more important. As Arctic ice declines, and as oil companies look for new resources, these reserves have become high value. It is not clear whether the decline in sea ice will make it easier to develop infrastructure; however, it may allow for a longer shipping season.

The USGS released the first wide-ranging assessment of Arctic oil and gas resources in 2008, estimating the quantity of undiscovered and technically recoverable conventional oil and natural gas resources in the region. Of the 33 Arctic sedimentary “provinces” evaluated, 25 had a greater than 10% probability of having oil or gas deposits larger than 50 million barrels of oil equivalent. The USGS assessment concluded that approximately 90 billion barrels of oil, 1,669 trillion cubic feet of gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids (NGLs) may be in the Arctic. Of the total 412 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), approximately 84% is probably offshore, and that about two-thirds (67%) of the total is natural gas.

Production of these potential reserves is not a given. Besides the enormous and destructive greenhouse gas contribution the production and use of these fossil fuels would have on the planet, spill cleanup may be impossible in the Arctic due to the very cold waters, volatile and extreme weather and ocean patterns, and darkness much of the year.

Because there is currently no cleanup technology or methods for this environment, any attempted response to a spill would be far too little, too late. A spill would put critical high value marine life, currently on the edge from changes underway, at high risk. In addition, noise from drilling could potentially injure many marine mammals that use sound to navigate, find mates and find food.

USGS - http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3049/fs2008-3049.pdf

Russia

Of the eight Arctic Council nations, Russia is by far the most deeply invested in Arctic ocean petroleum exploration and drilling. Oil and gas account for over 50% of Russian federal budget revenues.

Below: A comparison of Alaska's north shore and Prudhoe Bay- the largest oil field in North America- with the Yamal Peninsula and the Bovanenkovo Gas Field.

Region: Yamal-Gydan, SiberiaArctic Coastal Plain, Alaska
Area of Interest: Yamal PeninsulaCanning to Coville River
Total Region Area:235,000230,000
Area of Interest:112,00071,000
Total Area Disturbed:≈ 6,500785
Largest Field: Bovanenkovo Gas FieldPrudhoe Bay Oil Field
Above-ground facilities:2,052991
Below-ground lease area:20016.9
Severly Disturbed Terrain:≈ 2808.8
Indirect Impact Zone:448na
Area soon to be disturbed:500na

Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, Arctic Council - http://arcticlcc.org/assets/resources/ABA2013Science.pdf