The Arctic Gold Rush
The New Race for Tomorrow's Natural ResourcesBook - 2009
An exploration of the political significance of the Arctic's vast untapped wealth of natural resources, and a gripping account of the race to exploit them
On August 2, 2007, a Russian submarine captured world headlines by making a dangerous journey to the bottom of the Arctic seabed and planting a metal, rustfree national flag more than 14,000 feet beneath the North Pole. The aim was to assert Russia's legal sovereignty over a region whose importance had only recently started to become apparent as its melting ice had made, or was expected to make, vast natural resources open to exploitation.
The latest estimates are that the region holds around 13% of the world's undiscovered oil and as much as 30% of undiscovered natural gas reserves that would be hugely profitable for any country that managed to secure control over them. Gold, platinum, copper, and other precious metals have also been found along the coast. Neighboring countries -- Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, and Norway -- are already doing everything they can to mark out new borders. The ensuing political disagreements over the issue are already rife. In particular, games of political intrigue between Moscow and Washington are being played out in the region. But as the world's resources become increasingly scarce and valuable, could the scramble for Arctic resources become violent? Could a "War for the Arctic" be fought?
Praise for The Oil Hunters:
"The Dramatic Days of oil exploration in the first half of the 20th century are narrated in gripping fashion by Roger Howard." -The Spectator
"A fascinating story for anyone interested in one of today's main economic problems: How to reduce the hundreds of billions that Americans spend every year to import oil...the book is packed with intrepid geologists, risk-averse business people, hardup Mideast rulers and ingenious promoters- all concerned with driving up profits."-The Associated Press