Arctic oil

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White House Conditionally Approves Shell's Arctic Drilling

Permits still needed, but drilling could start this summer

(Newser) - In a big victory for the petroleum industry, Shell has been granted conditional White House approval to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic this summer, the New York Times reports. "We have taken a thoughtful approach to carefully considering potential exploration in the Chukchi Sea, recognizing... More »

Canada to Claim North Pole

Move sets up clash with Russia, Denmark

(Newser) - Santa better be a hockey fan—Canada is gearing up to claim the North Pole, along with a vast surrounding area of the Arctic, according to the Globe and Mail . The country is due to submit a territorial claim to the UN this week and sources say Prime Minister Stephen... More »

Russia Hits Greenpeace Activists With Piracy Charges

Could face 15 years in jail; more activists to be charged

(Newser) - Greenpeace said today that five of its activists who were detained after protesting at a Russian oil platform have been charged with piracy and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. The environmental group said in a statement that activists from Brazil, Britain, Finland, and Sweden... More »

The Arctic: The New Cold War?

Militaries vie for advantage as region heats up

(Newser) - To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes, and a slew of potential conflicts. By... More »

Shell Sues Greens Over Arctic Drilling

Preemptive lawsuit seeks to avoid challenges to cleanup plan

(Newser) - Lawyers for Shell filed suit against more than a dozen environmental groups yesterday over Arctic drilling. The suit, an unusual preemptive legal strike, seeks to head off future lawsuits by having a federal court declare that Shell's Arctic oil spill response plan for upcoming drilling complies with the law,... More »

Xena Actress Arrested After 3 Days on Oil Ship

Lucy Lawless, five other Greenpeace activists busted in New Zealand

(Newser) - Lucy Lawless was arrested today in New Zealand along with five other Greenpeace members, three days after they boarded an oil-drilling ship that had been contracted by Shell. Lawless, aka Xena: Warrior Princess, occupied the vessel to protest its plan to do exploratory drilling off Alaska. "This chapter has... More »

Exxon Strikes Deal With Russia for Arctic Drilling

Company teams with state-owned Rosneft for exploration

(Newser) - Exxon Mobil scored a major coup in the search for Arctic oil today, signing a deal with Russia to explore areas with state-owned Rosneft, reports Reuters . The deal gives Exxon access to spots controlled by Moscow in the Kara Sea, which has become a much sought-after region within the petroleum... More »

Arctic Drilling to be Suspended

No exploratory drilling until at least 2011

(Newser) - Shell is going to have to wait, baby, wait to get its hands on new sources of Arctic oil. The Obama administration plans to suspend exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean until 2011 at the earliest because of the problems exposed by the Gulf oil spill, a source tells AP... More »

Shell Gets Go Ahead for Arctic Drilling

Court clears the way for exploratory drill

(Newser) - Shell got the go ahead to ' drill, baby, drill ' in the Arctic this summer, after a three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge standing in the way of their plans. The court determined that the federal Minerals Management Service ( Um, remember them? ) weighed the potential threat to... More »

Arctic Thaw May Lead to NATO-Russia Chill

New Euro chief warns of competition for resources

(Newser) - NATO’s new European commander is wary of Russian intentions in the Arctic, where climate change is opening up trade routes and access to billions of barrels of oil. James Stavridis looks “at the high north and I think it could either be a zone of conflict, I hope... More »

Against Economic Tide, Norway Thrives

Often standing in contrast to Europe, strict state control puts Norway in good stead

(Newser) - While the rest of the world struggles with recession, Norway’s socialist-leaning government looks pretty smart, the New York Times reports. Norway enjoys a budget surplus of 11% and is free of debt (the US owes $11 trillion), and its economy grew 3% last year. Oil revenues are pouring in—... More »

US Ship Joins Race for Arctic Resources

Mapping the continental shelf integral to oil and gas rights

(Newser) - A Coast Guard cutter will this week begin mapping Alaska’s continental shelf, Reuters reports, in a first step toward mining data that could be used to establish rights to oil exploration in the Arctic. Melting ice caps, which one scientist calls "bad for the Arctic, but very very... More »

Save the Earth: Drill in the US

Letting other countries produce oil cures nothing: Krauthammer

(Newser) - Asked why she so vehemently opposes offshore drilling, Nancy Pelosi recently replied, “I’m trying to save the planet.” Which is a nice thought, Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post, but it’s completely illogical. We’re not saving the planet by leaving the drilling to the... More »

Arctic Holds 3 Years of Oil

A fifth of world's untapped reserves may be under melting ice

(Newser) - Enough oil is believed to lie under the rapidly thawing Arctic to last the world 3 years, Reuters reports. The USGS released a forecast yesterday estimating the region has 90 billion recoverable barrels of oil and vast natural gas reserves. The agency's director said the information was vital in order... More »

Bush to Congress: Lift Offshore Drilling Ban

Also, open Alaska refuge to oil companies

(Newser) - Bush formally asked Congress today to allow drilling for oil in the deep water off America's coasts, as well as repeating his demand that Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be opened for drilling, CNN reports. "In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil,... More »

Alaska Against Polar Bear's Protection

State could lose $26 billion gas pipeline if species is called threatened

(Newser) - Alaska is opposing calls to save its polar bear population, fearing the state would have to protect dwindling sea ice and give up a multibillion-dollar gas project, the AP reports. Calls to save the bears have been "subverted by the lawyers for the extreme environmental organizations and the liberal... More »

US Blunts Arctic Oil Warning

Report's recommendations cut on US, Swedish objections

(Newser) - A top researcher for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was poised this week to deliver a stern warning against the oil drilling operations sweeping the Arctic—until politicians pulled the teeth from his report, Der Spiegel reports. The report needed approval from the Arctic council that commissioned it—... More »

Drilling Hits Norway's Conscience

Concern over climate change has stalled Scandinavian nation's government

(Newser) - A friendly little nation is facing the ethics of new economic power, as Norway asks itself whether to drill for 73 billion barrels of Arctic oil or leave it for others to uncover. The tiny country is the world's fifth largest exporter of oil, third largest of gas - and... More »

Sub Crew Plants Russian Flag

Expedition reaches North Pole seabed in quest to get jump on turf battle

(Newser) - A Russian expedition reached the North Pole today and symbolically called dibs on the Arctic in the race to secure the oil-rich territory. Explorers sank a titanium Russian flag into what the team leader called the "yellowish mud" of the sea floor 3 miles deep, which a spokesman likened... More »

Look Out, Santa: Russia Claims North Pole

Rich oil and gas reserves lie beneath ownership dispute

(Newser) - Russian ships will arrive at the North Pole today as part of Moscow's effort to claim a 1,240-mile area of the Arctic—and with it, more than $2 trillion in oil and gas reserves. The Telegraph reports that the fleet will deposit a Russian flag at the bottom of... More »

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