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April 14, 2008


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The breakup of arctic ice would probably not facilitate the development of offshore hydrocarbons. If anything, it would complicate it. Offshore drilling in the arctic is typically done in winter, from ice islands. An extended summer thaw would greatly shorten the operational window.It is doubtful that the objective of the territorial claims is for mineral rights in the polar region itself, due both to the tremendous technical obstacles to developing reserves in the region, the very speculative nature of the mineral potential of the region far from the mainlands, and the very questionable validity of such unilateral claims.

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About Arctic Economics

  • We'll have a lot of decisions to make in the face of Arctic climate change. This blog is about the range of available choices, and about the tradeoffs involved in making them. Ben Muse, an Alaskan economist, is the blogger. Muse works for a resource management agency. However, any opinions expressed here are his and not necessarily the positions of any former or current employer. In the interests of full disclosure, Muse's current employer has fisheries, marine habitat, endangered species, and marine mammal management responsibilities in the Arctic.

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