Getting to Arctic Oil

December 22nd, 2011
in econ_news

Econintersect:  The world is in a frantic competition to see who can access the vast oil reserves believed to be trapped beneath the North Pole’s icecap icebreakers-double-acting-ships-nuclearwhich covers the Arctic Ocean.  The “coast line” of the Arctic Ocean is shared by Russia (approximately 40%), Canada (20%), U.S. (20%) and Norway and Denmark (approximately 10% each).  Map follows continuation break.

The five countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean are all contenders for harvesting the buried treasure.  Currently the focus on access centers on icebreakers with nuclear power and reversible drive that will enable the propeller blades to slash through ice up to ten feet thick.

Follow up:

The richest oil deposits are believed to be off the Russian coast in the Berents Sea, an area also sharing Norway’s coast line in the Arctic.



The picture below is a design sketch for a nuclear power, reverse running ice breaker, which is expected to replace the massive ice crushing beheamoths of today:



From gizmag, where many more pictures are found:

The Arctic North end of Russia is believed to hold as much as a quarter of all the world's oil deposits - an utterly monstrous economic prize, hidden in one of the toughest and least hospitable environments on the planet. Getting to this prize, and then transporting it back to refineries, is a monolithic task that requires one of the most awe-inspiring pieces of machinery man has ever built - the nuclear icebreaker. Purpose-built to the point of being almost unseaworthy on the open waves, these goliaths smash their way through 10-foot thick ice crusts to create viable pathways for other vessels - but fascinating new technologies could mean the days of the dedicated icebreaker are numbered.

Source:  gizmag

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