Friday, November 16, 2012

The Battle for the Arctic /Η αντιπαράθεση με το λιώσιμο των πάγων στην Αρκτικη

Fault Lines looks at the potential environmental impact of resource extraction in the Arctic, and what that might mean for the people who live there.

The UN has imposed a 2013 deadline for the submission of scientific claims to the Arctic seabed. It is the precursor to a resource boom which would see Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Greenland all attempt to exploit the region's resources.

These Arctic countries are desperately mapping out their territories so they can tap into the fossil fuels and minerals locked beneath the fast melting ice.

And with global warming speeding up the melting of the Polar ice caps, potential shipping routes are opening up - raising concerns about oil spills, and control over these new passageways.
Fault Lines’ Josh Rushing heads to the Far North to see first-hand how Arctic countries are responding to the potential bonanza.



  1. Russia to urgently evacuate Arctic post as ice melts....

    MOSCOW: Russia has ordered the urgent evacuation of the 16-strong crew of a drifting Arctic research station after ice floe that hosts the floating laboratory began to disintegrate, officials said Thursday.

    Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Sergei Donskoi set a three-day deadline to draft a plan to evacuate the North Pole-40 floating research station, the ministry said in a statement.

    "The ice is disintegrating," a ministry spokeswoman told AFP. "Cracks appeared in the floe."

    The station is currently home to 16 personnel.

    "The destruction of the ice has put at risk the station's further work and life of its staff," the ministry said in a statement.

    If the situation is not addressed, it may also result in the loss of equipment and contaminate the environment near Canada's economic zone where the station is currently believed to be located, the ministry added.

    The floating research laboratory will be relocated to Bolshevik Island in the Russian Arctic.

    Scientists point to increasing signs of global warming in the Arctic which is being significantly affected by climate change.

    The UN weather agency said this month that the Arctic's sea ice melted at a record pace in 2012, the ninth-hottest year on record.

    - AFP/fl

  2. Rosneft and Gazprom both awarded Arctic Shelf permits.....

    Gazprom and Rosneft are officially the only companies with the right to explore the Russian Artic shelf, as they both received exclusive extraction licenses in return for large cash payments.

    In 2009, Rosneft agreed to pay 1.4 billion roubles ($450 million) and Gazprom 1.2 billion in a resolution passed by the state Duma, but the exact amount paid on Wednesday for the licenses is unknown.

    Russia has passed a law that only companies in which the state owns more than half and have at least 5 years of Arctic experience are eligible for permits

    Lukoil, the country’s second largest oil company, is publicly owned, and Sugtneftegas, known to have close ties with the Kremlin, is also publicly owned, and therefore not up for a permit.

    Tatneft is the country’s sixth largest and operates out of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is also the company’s primary shareholder.

    In March, it was reported the companies were in competition for the same areas of the shelf, but in late May, in a decree signed by Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev, exploration and extraction rights have been awarded to Rosneft for two deposits in the Barents Sea, and three in the Kara Sea have been given to Gazprom.

    Earlier this year, the government approved bids by both companies for offshore fields and handed Gazprom licenses for 17 offshore sites and Rosneft 12.

    Another area in the East Siberian Sea is likely to be split equally between the two companies, Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy said in May.

    The Russian government has urged the two energy giants to team up in a joint venture, in order to efficiently develop and explore the uncharted waters in the Siberian Sea.

    The two fields granted to Rosneft, the Albanovsky and Varneksky sections of the Arctic shelf, have a combined area of 64,329 square meters. An assessment in 2009 estimated that the Albanovsky section of the shelf contained 144.2 million tonnes of oil, 43.3 million which is extractable, and 1,254.4 billion cubic meters of gas. The deposits at Varnetsky are estimated to be 2,081 million tonnes, of which 542 million is extractable.

    The Maritime, Nyarmeisky and Skuratovsky deposits partitioned to Gazprom total 7,339 square kilometers. Gas deposits are pegged at 2,867 billion cubic meters.

    On Wednesday Gazprom held its annual shareholder’s meeting, as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. At the conference, management touted that Gazprom is the largest gas supplier to the domestic market, citing its 73.1 percent market share in 2012.

    Rosneft, fresh from its TNK-BP acquisition in March, is challenging Gazprom as largest producer, and hopes to seize at least 20 percent of the natural gas market by 2020, Bloomberg reports.

    Rosneft has already attracted a range of foreign partners in its offshore ventures, striking deals with Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s Eni, Norway’s Statoil, and Japan’s Inpex.

    Gazprom is keen to retain its share of the Russian gas market and has attracted Shell as an offshore partner.

  3. Все энергетические проекты на шельфе Арктики будут отвечать экологическим требованиям - президент РФ...

    СТРЕЛЬНА, 6 сентября. /ИТАР-ТАСС/. Реализация всех проектов на шельфе Арктики будет вестись с соблюдением экологических требований. Об этом заявил сегодня президент РФ Владимир Путин на итоговой пресс-конференции саммита G20, отвечая на вопрос представителя "Гринпис".

    "Мы не позволим осуществляться ни одному проекту, который не был бы подвергнут очень строгой, если не строжайшей экологической экспертизе, - заверил глава государства. - На нашей территории это недопустимо, особенно в районах Крайнего Севера, где природа особенно уязвима".

    Комментируя ситуацию с налоговыми льготами для нефтегазовых компаний при разработке ими проектов на континентальном шельфе, президент отметил, что "это очень инвестиционноемкие проекты с неизвестным конечным результатом". "И, конечно, без поддержки государства хотя бы на начальном этапе в виде льгот там не обойтись, иначе просто проект не будет реализован", - подчеркнул Путин.

  4. Arctic on course for ice-free summer 'within decades', scientists say...

    National Snow and Ice Data Center says expanse of ice in Arctic on 13 September was sixth-lowest of all time.

    The Arctic is on course for an ice-free summer within the next few decades, as scientist on Friday declared that sea ice in the region had fallen to one of the lowest annual minimums on record.

    On 13 September, the expanse of frozen water in the Arctic fell to 5.10 million square kilometres (1.97 million square miles), the sixth-lowest such measurement on record, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said in a statement. The annual minimum was not as extreme as the collapse of sea ice last year, which smashed through all records. But it was still well below the average of the last three decades.

    "The overall trend is still decidedly downwards," the NSIDC director, Mark Serreze, said in a statement. "The pattern we've seen so far is an overall downward trend in summer ice extent, punctuated by ups and downs due to natural variability in weather patterns and ocean conditions."

    He went on: "We could be looking at summers with essentially no sea ice on the Arctic Ocean only a few decades from now."

    In the run-up to the release next week of the United Nations' blockbuster global warming report, climate doubters have seized on the apparent "recovery" of sea ice, compared to last year's death spiral, as evidence that there is no need for concern about the melting of the Arctic sea ice. But satellite images going back to 1980 and records compiled by scientists using ice cores and tree ring data going back as far as 1870 show a continued and dramatic long-term decline in summer sea ice.

    The so-called recovery of the sea ice this year does not even begin to reverse that decline, scientists said on Friday. "Last year was so outrageously below the trend line that it was really no surprise that it would not be quite so low this year," said Jennifer Francis, a research scientist at Rutgers University. "Clearly we are on this very definite downward trend.".....

  5. Arctic Ocean oil and gas reserves ...

    AFP - Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to discuss the exploitation of Arctic resources when he meets his Finnish and Icelandic counterparts at a forum in the Russian town of Salekhard on Wednesday. The Arctic region is a vast repository of untapped oil and gas reserves.

  6. Nature reserve zones in the Arctic will be increased - Putin...

    Russia plans to substantially enlarge natural reserves in the Arctic region, declared Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

    Currently, these areas cover about 6 % of the Russian part of the Arctic region - nearly 322 thousand square kilometers, he recalled, speaking in Salekhard in northern Russia at the international Arctic forum. Putin also called on the governments of the Arctic region to draw attention to the problem of preservation of rare species of animals that live in these areas, particularly walruses. The president said that the development of the Arctic region should take place by maintaining a balance between the presence of humans and the conservation of the environment. At the same time, he said that, “The Arctic region, in fact, opens a new page in its history, which can be called an era of industrial breakthrough, rapid economic and infrastructure development”. He noted that in the Arctic regions of Russia, an intensive search is being conducted for exploration and development of new fields of gas, oil and other mineral resources. Putin also said that not all companies will be able to obtain the right of extracting oil in the Arctic region. “The right to extract oil in freezing conditions will be granted only to those companies that have the most modern technologies and of course, to those who have the financial capabilities to provide for this kind of work”, said the president.
    Read more:

  7. Arctic quest: The Great Game points north...

    Energy and trade have long dominated great power politics. The new “hot” region for development is in fact one of the coldest: In the Arctic, power means all manner of energy as well as influence in key developing trade routes.

    Far away from highly publicized supranational trade blocs such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement, a fascinating gathering is taking place a long way up north. In the Arctic, in fact: a place inhabited by a sparse 4 million people from some 30 ethnic groups, governed by eight nations – albeit with Canada and Russia the major powers, controlling some 80 percent of the governed landmass. The region covers 30 million square kilometers (18 million square miles), or one-sixth of the Earth, and includes all 24 time zones.

    The third Arctic Forum is currently taking place with President Vladimir Putin the most high-profile attendee, discussing key topics relating to both the sustainability and development of the region. Nevertheless, the conference venue may not be a place on everybody’s lips: Russia’s Salekhard, the closest city to the Arctic Circle, is thriving with a population of 42,000 thanks to its being a highly significant economic center sitting slap bang in the middle of massive Arctic oil and gas reserves, which across the region account for some 10 percent of known world hydrocarbon reserves.

    Many already discovered Arctic reserves have yet to be exploited and there is considerable belief that the region has vastly more hydrocarbons lying under the Polar ice – perhaps one-fifth or more of total world reserves. Melting ice is promoting more exploration, which is driving a tense poker game of land grabs as nations try to assert their claims over previously unattractive sheets of ice......

  8. Russland will weiter nach Arktis-Öl bohren...

    MOSKAU, 26. September (RIA Novosti). Russland erschließt weiterhin Vorkommen auf dem arktischen Festlandsockel, schreibt die Zeitung „Nesawissimaja Gaseta“ am Donnerstag.

    Diese Absicht gab Präsident Wladimir Putin gestern auf einem internationalen Arktis-Forum im sibirischen Salechard zu verstehen. „Voriges Mal haben wir bereits darüber gesprochen, dass derzeit ein neues Kapitel in der Geschichte der Arktis beginnt, das sich als Epoche des industriellen Durchbruchs bezeichnen lässt, als intensive wirtschaftliche und infrastrukturelle Entwicklung“, betonte er. „Für uns ist offensichtlich, dass bei der Entwicklung der Arktis der Umweltschutz und die Wirtschaftsaktivitäten im Einklang stehen müssen. Besonders wichtig ist das in Bezug auf die Arktis mit ihren anfälligen Ökosystemen und ihrem sensiblen Klima, die das ökologische Gleichgewicht unseres Planeten bestimmen.“ Russland wisse von seiner Verantwortung für eine stabile Umwelt, beteuerte Putin.

    Laut dem Kreml-Chef ist die Nutzung der arktischen Bodenschätze mit vielen Vorbehalten verbunden. „Rechte zur Erdölförderung im Eis werden nur Unternehmen bekommen, die mit modernsten Technologien arbeiten und ihre Aktivitäten entsprechend finanzieren können“, so der russische Staatschef. Zugleich kündigte er eine Ausweitung der Naturschutzgebiete an, die derzeit mit 322 000 Quadratkilometern etwa sechs Prozent des russischen Arktis-Gebietes ausmachen.

    Der Umweltschutz sollte aber nicht die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung der Region bremsen, warnte Putin. Die Frage bestehe nur darin, wie die Erschließung der Arktis und die Minimierung der Umweltschäden zu vereinbaren seien. „Das ist natürlich schwierig, aber das müssen wir anstreben. Ich bin sicher, dass wir das schaffen“, ergänzte er......

  9. Secretary Kerry Announces Department Will Establish a Special Representative for the Arctic Region.....

    Press Statement, John Kerry, Secretary of State, Washington, DC.- The Arctic region is the last global frontier and a region with enormous and growing geostrategic, economic, climate, environment, and national security implications for the United States and the world.

    Today I informed my two former Senate colleagues that here at the State Department we will soon have a Special Representative for the Arctic Region, a high-level official of stature who will play a critical role in advancing American interests in the Arctic Region, particularly as we prepare efforts for the United States to Chair the Arctic Council in 2015. President Obama and I are committed to elevating our attention and effort to keep up with the opportunities and consequences presented by the Arctic’s rapid transformation—a very rare convergence of almost every national priority in the most rapidly-changing region on the face of the earth.

    The great challenges of the Arctic matter enormously to the United States, and they hit especially close to home for Alaska, which is why it is no wonder that Senator Begich’s very first piece of legislation aimed to create an Arctic Ambassador, or why as Foreign Relations Committee Chairman I enjoyed a close partnership with Senator Murkowski on a treaty vital to energy and maritime interests important to Alaska. Going forward, I look forward to continuing to work closely with Alaska’s Congressional delegation to strengthen America’s engagement in Arctic issues.

  10. US-Außenamt bekommt Arktis-Beauftragten....

    Im US-Außenministerium wird der Posten eines Arktis-Beauftragten eingerichtet, teilte der Behördenchef John Kerry mit.

    „Heute habe ich meine ehemaligen Kollegen im Senat informiert, dass das Außenamt demnächst einen Sonderbeauftragten für die Arktis-Region haben wird, einen ranghohen Beamten, der für die Durchsetzung unserer Interessen in dieser Region zuständig sein wird“, heißt in der Erklärung Kerrys.

    Wie der US-Chefdiplomat betonte, sei die Arktis von gigantischer und wachsender geopolitischer, wirtschaftlicher und ökologischer Bedeutung. Dabei gehe es auch um die nationale Sicherheit der USA.

    „Präsident Barack Obama und ich wollen immer mehr Aufmerksamkeit darauf richten und immer größere Anstrengungen unternehmen, um bei den Veränderungen in der Region auf dem Laufenden zu sein.“

    2015 übernehmen die USA den Vorsitz im Arktischen Rat.

  11. The Wealth of Arctic Resources drives Entrepreneurs Crazy......

    Melting of the Arctic ice is becoming one of the most discussed topics among experts.

    But apart from the apocalyptic predictions that it is time for people to get ready for Noah's Flood once again, there is good news too. Resources that were previously hidden under the ice are now becoming available. And it is not just about oil and gas fields, but also a huge variety of other minerals.

    Scientists predict that if Arctic ice continues to melt, a time will come in this very century when there will be no ice in the Arctic Ocean. Scientists have linked countless natural disasters in recent years like the unprecedented frost in the U.S., floods in Europe and an abnormally warm winter in Russia with the melting of ice at the North Pole. But the economists and industrialists appear to be highly optimistic. For them, the melting of glaciers opens new horizons for the extraction of minerals. For Russia, in particular, the development of the Arctic fields means socio- economic development of the northern territories. For other players in the region it is, in principle, a promising business development, says Alexander Pasechnik from the National Energy Security Fund:

    “Here, the energy resources are of first importance. If you look at long-term perspectives, the Arctic mining will play an important role. The more so if the oil prices rise further, which can stimulate and accelerate the development of Arctic deposits.”...........Read more:

  12. Poutine : l’exploration du plateau continental arctique est une tâche importante pour le secteur pétrogazier russe...

    Vladimir Poutine a félicité les travailleurs de l'industrie russe du pétrole et du gaz à l’occasion de leur fête professionnelle, soulignant que l’exploration du plateau continental arctique est une tâche importante pour le secteur du pétrole et du gaz.

    Le président russe a souligné que les travailleurs de l'industrie faisaient face à un certain nombre de problèmes, parmi lesquels la diversification des flux d'exportation, le développement de nouveaux champs prometteurs, la création de clusters modernes de traitement et de transport des matières premières, ainsi que de grands programmes de développement du plateau continental arctique.

    Précédemment, le Premier ministre Dmitri Medvedev a exhorté à explorer activement les champs des hydrocarbures, y compris sur le plateau continental, en soulignant l'importance de renforcer la sécurité énergétique de la Fédération de Russie.
    Lire la suite:

  13. Russia’s military presence in Arctic not to cause region’s pollution...

    Russia’s military presence in the Arctic will not add to the pollution sources in the region, Deputy Defence Minister General Dmitry Bulgakov told reporters on Saturday.

    “We have observed all existing international standards and legal norms regulating ecology security in the region,” he said.

    Russia will also organise a regional ecology centre of the North Fleet in the Arctic, he said.

    The centre will conduct “ecology monitoring and control compliance with the Russian and international ecology legislations both in the places where the Fleet is located and in the Arctic zone, where the military are located,” he said.

    All the military will be instructed in ecology security and legal requirements, the general said.

    Russia’s Defence Ministry has worked out a road-map on ecology security in the Arctic.

    “Now, our specialists are analysing the realistic ecology situation in the locations of the military in the Arctic, including the territories, where the military were located in the times of the USSR,” he said. “We plan to remove within several next years the old and destroyed buildings, to restore the territory - this means we shall remove the debris, basements and metal parts and so forth.”

    “We shall utilise the waste by both taking it to the mainland, or by use of special devices right on the spot,” the deputy defence minister said.

    In 2014, military of the Eastern Military District have removed waste from Wrangel Island and from the area of the Cape of Otto Schmidt. They brought to the mainland for further utilisation about ten tonnes of waste.

  14. Russia is planning to form a combine-arms contingent and build a unified network of military facilities on its Arctic territories to host troops, advanced warships and aircraft as part of a plan to boost protection of the country’s interests and borders in the region....

    SOCHI, November 24 (Sputnik) — Russia's Arctic Command will be headquartered at a Northern Fleet's naval base and will become operational on December 1, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

    "A new strategic command in the Arctic, based at the Northern Fleet, will become operational on December 1 this year," Putin said at a meeting with top military commanders.

    Russia is planning to form a combine-arms contingent and build a unified network of military facilities on its Arctic territories to host troops, advanced warships and aircraft as part of a plan to boost protection of the country’s interests and borders in the region.................

  15. Russlands Luftwaffe verstärkt Präsenz in Arktis ...

    Die russischen Luftstreitkräfte werden im kommenden Jahr auf die Verstärkung ihrer Arktis-Gruppierung besonderen Schwerpunkt legen, wie Luftwaffensprecher Igor Klimow am Montag mitteilte.

    Eine stärkere Präsenz in den russischen Arktisgebieten und die Umschulung des Personals für neue und modernisierte Waffen und Militärtechnik würden Priorität haben, sagte Klimow.

    Zuvor hatte bereits Luftwaffenchef Viktor Bondarew eine Vergrößerung der russischen Luftwaffen-Gruppierung in der Arktis angekündigt. In der Region sind die Flughäfen Temp und Rogatschowo eröffnet worden; die Flughäfen Tiksi, Anadyr und Workuta werden ausgebaut. Darüber hinaus soll die Luft- und Weltraumverteidigung verstärkt werden......................

  16. Η Δανία διεκδικεί τον Βόρειο Πόλο ...

    Αίτημα στον ΟΗΕ προκειμένου να ανακηρύξει δανέζικη περιοχή τον Βόρειο Πόλο υπέβαλε η Δανία υποστηρίζοντας ότι η περιοχή που τον περιβάλει συνορεύει με το ηπειρωτικό κομμάτι της Γροιλανδίας, μιας δανέζικης αυτόνομης περιοχής.

    Για «ιστορική και σημαντική στιγμή» έκανε λόγο ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών της Δανίας Μάρτιν Λίντεργκαρντ.

    Ανάλογα αιτήματα εξετάζουν να υποβάλουν Καναδάς και Ρωσία.............

  17. Putin: Russland will Arktis nicht militarisieren ...

    Trotz der Truppenverstärkung in der Arktis strebt Russland laut Präsident Wladimir Putin keine Militarisierung dieser Region an.

    „Wir haben nicht vor, die Arktis zu militarisieren. Unsere Handlungen in dieser Region sind gemäßigt und haben ein vernünftiges Ausmaß“, sagte Putin am Freitag in einer Beratung im Verteidigungsministerium in Moskau. Diese Handlungen seien jedoch „absolut notwendig, um die Verteidigungsfähigkeit Russland zu gewährleisten“. Der Aufbau der militärischen Infrastruktur auf der Inselgruppe Nowaja Semlja, auf der Kotelny-Insel, der Wrangelinsel und in Mys Schmidta soll Putin zufolge im kommenden Jahr abgeschlossen werden.

    Die Rivalität um die Arktis, wo laut Expertenschätzungen mehr als ein Viertel der weltweiten Öl- und Gasreserven mit einem Gesamtwert von mindestens 30 Billionen US-Dollar liegen, hat sich in den letzten Jahren verschärft. Um die reich gefüllte Naturschatzkammer buhlen Russland, die USA, Kanada, Großbritannien und andere Anrainerstaaten. Mehr als ein Fünftel des russischen Landesgebietes liegt in der Arktis-Zone. Angesichts der wachsenden Aufmerksamkeit der Nato-Länder für diese Region beauftragte Präsident Putin das Verteidigungsministerium, in der Arktis die militärische Infrastruktur wiederaufzubauen und Truppen aufzustellen.

  18. Arctique: la mise en valeur plombée par les faibles prix du pétrole (Moscou)...

    La mise en valeur du plateau continental arctique de la Russie risque d'être entravée par les faibles prix du pétrole, a indiqué jeudi le vice-premier ministre Arkadi Dvorkovitch.

    "Les prix peu élevés entraînent une chute des investissements dans le secteur et empêchent la réalisation de projets onéreux, notamment ceux qui prévoient l'exploitation des gisements de pétrole lourd au Canada, voire certains projets relatifs au pétrole de schiste aux Etats-Unis", a déclaré M. Dvorkovitch dans une interview à la chaîne de télévision Rossiya 24.

    "Avec les faibles cours du pétrole, l'exploitation du plateau continental, y compris en Russie, devient impossible", a-t-il constaté..................

  19. Russie/doctrine de défense: l'Arctique parmi les priorités ...

    La protection des intérêts russes en Arctique figure pour la première fois parmi les priorités de la nouvelle doctrine de défense russe publiée vendredi sur le site du président russe.

    "Protéger les intérêts nationaux de la Fédération de Russie en Arctique", est-il indiqué dans le chapitre de la doctrine militaire consacré aux missions principales des Forces armées russes en temps de paix...........................

  20. Il ministero della Difesa russo invierà una grande spedizione nell'Artico ...

    Quest'anno il ministero della Difesa della Russia prevede di inviare una spedizione nell'Artico, con la partecipazione di personalità della cultura.

    Lo ha rivelato il ministro della Difesa Sergej Shoigu.

    La spedizione visiterà l'Isola di Wrangel, l'Isola di Kotelny, così come l'arcipelago di Novaya Zemlya e la Terra di Francesco Giuseppe.

    Il ministro Shoigu ha ricordato che solo sull'isola di Kotelny, nelle difficili condizioni artiche, garantiscono una presenza militare 700 persone, che non hanno bisogno solo di mezzi per sopravvivere e compiere il proprio dovere, ma anche di soddisfare la voglia di cultura.

  21. Nell'Artico verrà creata una base di servizio per la compagnia petrolifera russa Rosneft ...

    Il primo ministro russo Dmitry Medvedev ha firmato un decreto determinante una serie di misure per la creazione di una base artica per la compagnia petrolifera russa Rosneft nella regione di Murmansk, riporta il sito web del governo russo.

    Lo scorso settembre Rosneft aveva chiesto al governo di accelerare il processo per la creazione di un polo petrolifero e di gas per la manutenzione e i servizi alle piattaforme della regione. La compagnia prevede di creare nel centro di Roslyakovo (regione di Murmansk) la base di una flotta per assicurare servizi alle piattaforme di trivellazione, una fabbrica per la produzione di cemento per le piattaforme di perforazione, un impianto di assemblaggio per i sistemi sottomarini e diverse altre produzioni.
    Per saperne di più:

  22. Arctique: les projets ne seront pas stoppés malgré la chute du pétrole (Statoil) ...

    La chute des cours du pétrole au niveau mondial fait réfléchir toutes les compagnies du secteur pétrolier et gazier à la rentabilité des projets dans ce domaine. Cependant, à long terme, la demande d'hydrocarbures augmentera et pour la satisfaire il faudra continuer d'investir, entre autres, dans les projets en Arctique, a déclaré à RIA Novosti le vice-président de Statoil Tim Dodson.

    "Nous voyons que le prix du baril a été dernièrement divisé par deux, pour arriver à 50 dollars. C'est un défi pour le secteur: toutes les compagnies pétrolières et gazières, dont Statoil, étudieront des options alternatives en termes de rentabilité, et certains projets pourraient être reportés", explique-t-il. Tout de même, d'après lui, dans les décennies à venir la demande en gaz et en pétrole ne baissera pas et ces hydrocarbures demeureront un élément central dans la balance énergétique mondiale.

    Nous travaillons sur des projets à long terme et aujourd'hui, nous devons penser à l'avenir, affirme Tim Dodson, vice-président de Statoil. Il estime que la demande en pétrole et en gaz ne diminuera pas dans les décennies à venir et que ces hydrocarbures demeureront un élément central dans la balance énergétique mondiale........................

  23. Arctique: la Russie prête à défendre ses intérêts par les armes...

    La Russie juge possible d'utiliser les armes pour défendre ses intérêts nationaux en Arctique, a déclaré mercredi le ministre russe de la Défense Sergueï Choïgou.

    "Les pays développés qui n'ont pas d'accès direct aux régions arctiques prennent des mesures politiques, économiques et militaires pour pénétrer en Arctique (…). La présence militaire permanente en Arctique et la possibilité de défendre nos intérêts d'Etat par des moyens militaires font partie de notre politique visant à garantir la sécurité nationale de la Russie", a indiqué M.Choïgou lors d'une réunion du collège du ministère de la Défense.

    "L'Arctique devient un centre mondial de production d'hydrocarbures et un nœud important de communications", a-t-il rappelé................

  24. Une station arctique russe sera mise en service sur le pôle Nord le 18 avril prochain. La banquise spécialement choisie à cet effet accueillera plus de 50 tonnes d'équipements de recherche, du combustible et des denrées alimentaires...

    La station arctique russe Pôle Nord 2015 entrera en service le 18 avril prochain, a annoncé lundi le ministre russe de l'Ecologie et des Ressources naturelles Sergueï Donskoï.

    "Le 27 mars une banquise capable d'accueillir une station arctique a enfin été trouvée. On procède actuellement à l'aménagement d'un camp de base. Les premiers équipements sont déjà arrivés. L'ouverture officielle de la station est prévue le 18 avril", a déclaré M. Donskoï lors d'une conférence de presse à Moscou............Lire la suite:

  25. Russian ships in old Arctic NATO base set alarms bells ringing...

    Russian ships docked at what was once a secret Norwegian naval base in the Arctic have prompted concern from the NATO country's former top military leaders, anxious about its resurgent eastern neighbour roaming nearby.

    Norway's jagged Arctic coastline has regained its strategic importance since tensions between Russia and NATO members have spiked to levels not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union.

    The rocky relations have led some to criticise the shutting down of Olavsvern Naval Base, a massive complex burrowed into a mountain near the northern town of Tromsoe, that has been closed since 2009.

    Shuttering it was driven by the then seemingly reduced threat from Moscow and its massive Northern Fleet based on Russia's nearby Kola Peninsula.

    "We sold the only base worthy of the name that we had up there. It's pure madness," former vice admiral Einar Skorgen, who commanded Norway's northern forces, told AFP.

    Skorgen and other critics say Norway has robbed itself of a crucial foothold in the far north, forcing its submarines to travel hundreds of extra miles from their bases to defend the region.

    On top of that, three Russian ships have spent the winter docked deep within the mountain hideaway, once a closely guarded military facility.

    "We are the only country along with Russia to have a permanent presence in the Barents Sea, where we share a common border. Obviously our navy should be stationed there, including our submarines," Skorgen said.

    "If the ships aren't there where they are needed, they might as well be scrapped altogether." ................

  26. Russland stellt Luftabwehrsysteme in der Arktis auf...

    Russland hat in der Arktis Luftabwehrsysteme vom Typ „Panzyr“ aufgestellt. Das teilte der Vize-Befehlshaber der Truppen der Luft- und Weltraumverteidigung, Generalmajor Kirill Makarow, am Samstag in einem Interview für den Russischen Nachrichtendienst RSN mit.

    Geplant sei auch die Stationierung von Abfangjägern MiG-31. Auf dem Archipel Nowaja Semlja sollten zudem Radare gebaut, die ohne Personal betrieben würden.

    „Das ist sehr wichtig unter den Bedingungen des Hohen Nordens. Mit Erprobungen eines Radars dieses Typs soll in nächster Zeit begonnen werden“, sagte der Militär, ohne auf Details einzugehen.

    1. Anspruch auf Nordpol: Russland stationiert Abwehrraketen in der Arktis...

      Bis heute ist das nicht geklärt, wem die Arktis gehört. Russland markierte schon 2007 seinen Anspruch, und unterstreicht ihn jetzt mit der Stationierung von Raketenabwehrsystemen. Kampfjets sollen folgen.

      Russland baut seine Militärpräsenz in der Arktis weiter aus. Die Armee habe in der rohstoffreichen Region Abwehrraketensysteme vom Typ Panzir stationiert, teilte Generalmajor Kirill Makarow Moskauer Medien zufolge mit. Es gehe um einen Schutz der „Nordflanke“ des Landes. Geplant sei auch die Verlegung von Kampfjets des Typs MiG-31, sagte Makarow. Zudem soll auf der Insel Nowaja Semlja im Nordpolarmeer ein Frühwarnsystem entstehen.............

  27. 100 paratroopers from Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan air dropped to North Pole...

    Paratroopers of the Ivanovo and Pskov airborne troops units jointly with contingents of the rapid deployment forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization /CSTO/ member states were successfully air dropped on drifting ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, for the first time in history, Commander of the Russian Airborne Troops Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov told TASS on Tuesday.

    He said 100 paratroopers from Russia, Belarus and Tajikistan were drilling skills as part of the traning humanitarian rescue and search programme................

  28. Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin and other members of the State Commission for Arctic Development have reached the North Pole by helicopters...

    The vice-premier, accompanied by Artur Chilingarov, the president’s special representative for the Arctic and Antarctic; Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoi; Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev and other members of the State Commission for Arctic Development, disembarked on an ice floe near the North Pole and walked several meters on foot. When they reached the nominal point, members of the Russian Geographic Society temporary installed a direction sign. Then, Rogozin and his team posed for pictures first with the Russian national flag and the banner of Victory; the St. Andrew’s flag of the Russian Navy as well as the flag of the Russian Military-Historical Society.
    Rogozin stayed on the North Pole for about 30 minutes.
    Earlier, Rogozin and the commission’s members opened a new Russian drifting station - North Pole - 2015.
    The station will function for several months, scientists said. Artur Chilingarov, the Russian president’s special representative for international cooperation in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The station’s opening marks the revival of Russia’s programme of drifting stations that was suspended in the summer of 2013 after the North Pole-40 Russian drifting station had been evacuated.
    The world’s first drifting station North Pole-1 was officially opened 20 kilometers away off the North Pole on June 6, 1937. The expedition headed by well-known polar explorer Ivan Papanin lasted for 9 months. The ice floe covered more than 2,000 kilometers.
    Until last year, the Barneo drifting base had opened in the Arctic annually. It operated on the 89th degree of north latitude approximately 100 kilometers off the North Pole.

  29. El Ártico sufre las consecuencias del conflicto en Ucrania...

    La novena reunión ministerial del Consejo Ártico, que tendrá lugar el 24 y el 25 de abril en Iqaluit, Canadá, va a demostrar hasta qué punto el conflicto de Ucrania ha repercutido en la cooperación de las naciones polares, escribe este jueves el diario Kommersant.

    Los primeros indicios son poco alentadores: Canadá se negado a firmar con Rusia un convenio vinculante para luchar contra la contaminación petrolera en el Ártico, debido a las discrepancias sobre Ucrania.

    Por su parte, Moscú ha dado a entender que vetará la petición de la Unión Europea, uno de los candidatos al rango de observador permanente en el Consejo Ártico.

    El jefe de la delegación rusa y titular de Recursos Naturales, Serguéi Donskói, califica el Consejo como “institución clave” y manifiesta “rechazo a cualquier intento de politizar el desarrollo de la cooperación en el Ártico”, región que “genera un 15% del PIB y una cuarta parte de las exportaciones” y que, en su opinión, “debe permanecer al margen de la política”..........

  30. US, NATO concerned over Russia's growing presence in Arctic — NATO commander...

    The United States and NATO are concerned over Russia's military drills in the Arctic, Supreme Allied Commander of EUCOM and NATO, General Philip Breedlove told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

    The general said that Russia's building up its military presence in the Arctic, building military bases and setting up the North startegic command is not in the interest of other Arctic states.

    Expanding Russia’s presence in the Arctic is one of Russia's key tasks. The northern unified strategic command will be Russia's fifth military district which will assemble Russian military forces on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, the New Siberian Islands, Franz Josef Land and Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. The North Pole will also be in the area of responsibility of this command.

    The Russian government plans to file a request at the United Nations for expanding the borders of its continental shelf. If sustained, the request will increase Russia’s reserves of explored hydrocarbons by five billion tons of equivalent fuel. According to experts, the overall fuel and energy reserves in Russia’s Arctic exceed 1.6 trillion tons, while the continental shelf contains about a quarter of all of the world’s offshore reserves. In the meantime, Russia’s Defense Ministry is going to build 13 airdromes and 10 radars in the Arctic. The issue was discussed in detail at a meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin held with the government ministers in October.

  31. Arctique: la Russie a déposé une demande modifiée de l'extension du plateau...

    La Russie a déposé à l'Onu une demande modifiée de l'extension du plateau continental arctique via le rattachement de la dorsale de Lomonosov et d'autres entités qu'elle considère comme de nature continentale.

    "La demande de la Fédération de Russie partiellement modifiée et portant sur l'extension du plateau continental dans l'océan Glacial arctique part du principe scientifique selon lequel des entités composantes l'ensemble des entités sous-marines arctiques, dont les dorsales de Lomonosov, de Mendeleïev, Alpha, Tchouktche ainsi que les bassins Podvodnikov et Tchouktche qui les séparent, sont de nature continentale", stipule le texte de la demande déposée par la Russie auprès de la Commission de l'Onu pour les frontières du plateau continental arctique.

    Selon la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer de 1982 les Etats ayant accès à la mer ont le droit à une zone économique spéciale qui s'étend à partir de la ligne littorale de l'Etat jusqu'à 200 milles marins (environ 370 km) au maximum de ses côtes. Si le plateau continental s'étend au-delà de cette ligne, l'Etat peut élargir sa frontière maritime jusqu'à 350 milles. C'est dans le cadre de cette zone que l'Etat acquiert le contrôle des ressources s'y trouvant, y compris les ressources d'énergies fossiles................

  32. Russia has submitted its bid for vast territories in the Arctic to the United Nations, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday...

    The ministry said in a statement that Russia is claiming 1.2 million square kilometers (over 463,000 square miles) of Artic sea shelf extending more than 350 nautical miles (about 650 kilometers) from the shore.

    Russia, the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the planet's undiscovered oil and gas. Rivalry for Arctic resources has intensified as shrinking polar ice is opening up new opportunities for exploration.

    Russia was the first to submit its claim in 2002, but the U.N. sent it back for lack of evidence.

    The ministry said that the resubmitted bid contains new arguments. "Ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research are used to back the Russian claim,'' it said.

    Russia expects the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to start looking at its bid in the fall, the ministry said.

    In 2007, Moscow staked a symbolic claim to the Arctic seabed by dropping a canister containing the Russian flag on the ocean floor from a small submarine at the North Pole........AP.......

  33. Shell gets final permit for Arctic oil drilling...

    Oil and gas giant Shell has been granted the final permit it needs to begin drilling below the ocean floor for oil in the Arctic.

    Shell began work last month, but was allowed to drill just the top sections of two wells, off the coast of Alaska.

    Environmental campaigners are against the drilling which they say could harm the region.

    But the US government said it was monitoring Shell's work "around the clock" to ensure the "utmost safety".

    "Activities conducted offshore Alaska are being held to the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards,'' added Brian Salerno, director of The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which issued the final permit.

    A Shell spokesperson also emphasised the firm's focus on safety. "We remain committed to operating in a safe, environmentally responsible manner and look forward to evaluating what could potentially become a national energy resource base," the spokesperson said.
    Growing demand

    The final permit - granted after the firm repaired a key piece of equipment - is an extension to one issued in July, and will allow Shell to drill into oil-bearing rock below the ocean floor for the first time since its last exploratory well was drilled over two decades ago...........

  34. Russland stellt riesige Militärbasis fertig...

    Unter dem schmelzenden Eis am Nordpol werden enorme Rohstoffvorkommen vermutet. Russland hat seinen Besitzanspruch auf die Region nun untermauert: Eine riesige Militärbasis ist fertiggestellt.

    Russland hat in der Arktis eine riesige Militärbasis gebaut, in der nach Angaben der Regierung 150 Soldaten eineinhalb Jahre lang autonom leben können. Das Verteidigungsministerium gab in Moskau bekannt, dass der Komplex auf der Insel Alexandraland auf dem Archipel Franz-Josef-Land zu 97 Prozent fertiggestellt sei.

    Die getaufte Militärbasis wurde mit den russischen Farben rot, weiß und blau versehen und ist 140.000 Quadratmeter groß.

    Russland baut seine militärische Präsenz in der Arktis derzeit aus. Dies ist Folge einer erneuerten Militärdoktrin, in der die Region als von höchster Priorität eingestuft wurde. Hintergrund sind die reichen Rohstoffvorkommen dort und die strategische Position. Eine ähnliche Militärbasis hatte Russland bereits südlicher auf der Insel Kotelny gebaut............

  35. Washington lance la course aux ressources en Arctique...

    Riche en ressources naturelles, l'Arctique attire de plus en plus de regards.

    La course mondiale aux abondantes ressources naturelles de l'Arctique a été lancée, a annoncé le secrétaire d'Etat des Etats-Unis John Kerry lors d'une intervention à l'Université de Norfolk (Virginie).

    En guise d'exemples, le chef de la diplomatie américaine a cité l'installation du drapeau russe sur le plateau continental, en Arctique, ainsi que l'attention accrue de la part de la Chine envers la région.

    Ainsi, M.Kerry a souligné que la Russie avait installé un drapeau sur le territoire dont elle revendique l'appartenance. L'activité de la Chine, qui y développe des gisements pétroliers et gaziers ainsi que la pêche, saute également aux yeux.

    Il semblerait que ces déclarations indiquent clairement l'intérêt que Washington porte lui-même pour la région. Ce qui n'est pas pour surprendre, l'Arctique étant une région très riche en réserves naturelles.

    Le volume de ses ressources est en effet impressionnant. Selon les évaluations préliminaires, près de 13% des réserves mondiales de pétrole et un tiers des réserves mondiales de gaz se trouvent en Arctique. Et selon les déclarations récentes de John Kerry, plusieurs Etats vont bientôt lancer un réel combat afin de s'en approprier.

    La question est alors de savoir quel prix les Etats intéressés par la région, dont notamment les Etats membres de l'Otan, la Russie et la Chine, seront-ils prêts à payer afin d'avoir l'accès à toutes ces richesses en Arctique.

    "Les objectifs économiques aboutissent à la réalisation des intérêts militaires, car les Etats cherchent à protéger leurs droits", a récemment déclaré John Kerry.................

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