Full Title: Arctic Potential: Realizing the Promise of U.S. Arctic Oil and Gas Resources
Author(s): National Petroleum Council
Publisher(s): National Petroleum Council
Publication Date: 03/2015
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The Arctic is home to distinct indigenous peoples and provides habitat for large numbers of birds, mammals, and fishes. While some areas of the Arctic, such as the central North Slope of Alaska around Prudhoe Bay, have seen decades of economic activity, much of the region remains largely unaffected by human presence. Today, there is increasing interest in the Arctic for tourist potential, and reductions in summer ice provide an increasing opportunity for marine traffic. At the same time, there is concern about the future of the culture of the Arctic peoples and the environment in the face of changing climate and increased human activity.
Internationally, other countries such as Russia are moving forward with increased Arctic economic development during this time of change. Russia is drilling new exploration wells in the Kara and Pechora Seas and is expanding its naval and transportation fleet. While China does not have Arctic territory, it is investing millions of dollars in Arctic research, infrastructure, and natural resource development. The United States has developed a national strategy for the Arctic region that recognizes the importance of integrating national security, foreign policy, and energy policy, stating that “we seek an Arctic region that is stable and free of conflict, where nations act responsibly in a spirit of trust and cooperation, and where economic and energy resources are developed in a sustainable
manner that respects the fragile environment and the interests and cultures of indigenous peoples.”