Skip to comments.Libyan turmoil puts focus on Arctic oil: Greenland
Posted on 03/02/2011 11:09:26 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Greenland, which enjoys self-rule as part of the Kingdom of Denmark, has issued 20 licenses for oil and gas exploration in Baffin Bay on its West coast.
Some estimates put Greenland's offshore oil reserves at 20 billion barrels.
"There is a very strong focus on the Arctic ... especially nowadays because of the richness of natural resources. The very last days' developments in the Middle East of course put more (emphasis) on this focus," said Greenland Premier Kuupik Kleist, referring to instability in Libya.
"We are of course influenced and also highly affected by what's happening on world markets," he told an Ottawa conference on the Arctic.
Speaking separately, Greenland's industry and mineral resources minister, Ove Karl Berthelsen, said exploration licenses for blocks in the Greenland Sea to the east would be auctioned in 2012 and 2013.
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I suppose the melting ice caps and global warming have already killed off all the polar bears so that would be one less environmental hurdle to drilling in Baffin Bay. Besides Greenland will soon be semi-tropical with all the global warming spurring the growth of beach front property. Good times for them.
The real question is when Obozo may allow domestic drilling once the ME oil is shut-off. Oh, I forgot. We don’t need oil, just high-speed rail. I wonder if his personal trainer will come by rail or by private jet as is now the case.
I’m convinced that oil is one of the basic building blocks of the universe.
Drill now, and drill like crazy.
Very interesting development. Except for the fishing and that former (now long-shuttered) Cryolite mine, Greenland didn’t have jack squat in the way of natural resources. Now it seems they have oil.
They need money and they’re going to make the most of it. Good on them.
That said, it’s going to be genuinely dangerous to drill in waters that abound in both ice floes AND huge icebergs. I wonder what the most modern countermeasures consist of? Remember the hysteria over the Exxon Valdez? Prince William Sound was not an Arctic environment by a long shot. Having a rig blowout under a winter icepack would be catastrophic. That environment is nothing like the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. No oil-gobbling bacteria there. Depending on the depth of the water the wellhead could be in reach of gouging by an iceberg scraping the bottom. Drifting icebergs are the very definition of an irresistible force.
It has been dealt with before. The North Sea has already built up experience in this weather. Farther north is just more of it.
Unfortunately this does not begin to compare with Baffin Bay and the East Greenland Sea. The bergs there are huge and thick as grass. Not to mention this little matter of the sea freezing over for eight months of the year. Not that that necessarily stops the big bergs from moving. How are you going to do this dance when a monster berg is approaching and the sea ice is four feet thick?