By Roger Howard
An exploration of the political value of the Arctic's gigantic untapped wealth of traditional assets, and a gripping account of the race to take advantage of them
On August 2, 2007, a Russian submarine captured international headlines by means of creating a harmful trip to the ground of the Arctic seabed and planting a steel, rustfree nationwide flag greater than 14,000 ft underneath the North Pole. the purpose was once to claim Russia's felony sovereignty over a zone whose significance had only in the near past began to turn into obvious as its melting ice had made, or was once anticipated to make, colossal normal assets open to exploitation.
The most up-to-date estimates are that the quarter holds round thirteen% of the world's undiscovered oil and up to 30% of undiscovered average fuel reserves that will be highly ecocnomic for any state that controlled to safe keep watch over over them. Gold, platinum, copper, and different worthwhile metals have additionally been chanced on alongside the coast. Neighboring international locations ― Russia, the USA, Canada, Denmark, and Norway ― are already doing every thing they could to mark out new borders. the consequent political disagreements over the problem are already rife. particularly, video games of political intrigue among Moscow and Washington are being performed out within the area. yet because the world's assets turn into more and more scarce and worthy, might the scramble for Arctic assets turn into violent? may well a "War for the Arctic" be fought?
Praise for The Oil Hunters:
"The Dramatic Days of oil exploration within the first half the 20 th century are narrated in gripping type through Roger Howard." -The Spectator
"A interesting tale for somebody drawn to considered one of cutting-edge major fiscal difficulties: find out how to decrease the masses of billions that americans spend each year to import oil...the booklet is full of intrepid geologists, risk-averse enterprise humans, hardup Mideast rulers and inventive promoters- all eager about using up profits."-The linked Press
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Extra resources for Arctic Gold Rush: The New Race for Tomorrow's Natural Resources
For many adventurers it represented a great prize, but almost no one could raise the funds to make a journey and seize it. For this reason, few people made any speciﬁc effort to ﬁnd the Pole unless it also helped them to map the Northwest Passage, even if the personal bravery of those who made the effort was just as remarkable. By the end of the nineteenth century only a handful of journeys there had been made, most of which had ended in disaster. The least costly of these was undertaken by a British naval ofﬁcer, William Edward Parry, who had set sail in 1827 with the speciﬁc intention of being the ﬁrst to locate the exact spot and raise his national ﬂag.
The legal status of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea has long been hotly debated in the region and has created a state of high tension between China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and other neighbouring countries. In 1988 this spilled over and nearly caused a regional war when Chinese gunboats sank Vietnamese transport ships that were supporting a military landing party near Johnson Reef. And in recent years, speculation that these waters could be a major source of petroleum has made the dispute even more bitter.
As a United States presidential directive on the Arctic, published in January 2009, argued, ‘human activity in the Arctic region is increasing and is projected to increase further in coming years. 31 The document also stressed that the United States has to ‘project a sovereign . . maritime presence in the Arctic in support of essential United States interests’. 32 The Arctic may prove to be one forum where these and other countries could assert themselves over the coming years. Premonitions of the type of situation that could be realized in the years ahead came in the summer of 2008, when the economy of Iceland, which stands on the periphery of the Arctic, began to implode.