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Symposium 2012

Exploring Energy Resources in the Arctic Ocean

The Challenge

As temperatures rise with a changing climate, Arctic sea ice melts. As a consequence, the once ice-covered Arctic Ocean becomes increasingly accessible, with implications for various economic sectors. In particular, the oil and gas resources below the seafloor have whetted the appetite of the littoral states—Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States—as well as outsiders, such as China and the European Union, which are developing or rethinking their Arctic strategies.

A race to claim large parts of the Arctic Ocean’s seafloor has begun. But the special conditions in the Arctic—low temperatures, ice and icebergs, lack of infrastructure and environmental risks—influence the extraction of resources, making it more expensive and risky.

How will energy from the Arctic Ocean affect global markets for oil and natural gas? What role can energy from the Arctic play in the energy security of the littoral states and their potential buyers? Is it realistic to produce hydrocarbons without unforeseeable risks to Arctic ecosystems, which are already under great stress from climate change and receding sea ice? What rules are needed to prevent environmental catastrophes and how can they be enforced?

In contrast with the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement, there is, as yet, no comparable agreement on emergency prevention, preparedness and response. How can the effective treatment of catastrophes, such as oil spills in the Arctic, be secured? How should the responsibility, liability and burden of emergency preparedness programs be distributed, both among states and among stakeholders? Is the present framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea fit to deal with territorial claims from states littoral to the Arctic Ocean and how will it have to be reformed?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Redo the "math" of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic (taking account of all costs, risks and benefits) through a comprehensive dialogue between all stakeholders.

    Redo the "math" of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic (taking account of all costs, risks and benefits) through a comprehensive dialogue between all stakeholders.

    Redo the "math" of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic (taking account of all costs, risks and benefits) through a comprehensive dialogue between all stakeholders.

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Rather than imposing particular technical solutions and standards, Arctic countries need to stipulate performance-based regulation and standards for drilling activities and ensure that operating companies bear the full costs of ...

    Rather than imposing particular technical solutions and standards, Arctic countries need to stipulate performance-based regulation and standards for drilling activities and ensure that operating compa ...

    Rather than imposing particular technical solutions and standards, Arctic countries need to stipulate performance-based regulation and standards for drilling activities and ensure that operating companies bear the full costs of any incident.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Limit drilling to the least risky regions, where there is no ice or little enough ice to make effective ice management possible.

    Limit drilling to the least risky regions, where there is no ice or little enough ice to make effective ice management possible.

    Limit drilling to the least risky regions, where there is no ice or little enough ice to make effective ice management possible.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Invest in research on secure extraction of conventional resources, on renewable energy technologies and on how to capture leaking methane.

    Invest in research on secure extraction of conventional resources, on renewable energy technologies and on how to capture leaking methane.

    Invest in research on secure extraction of conventional resources, on renewable energy technologies and on how to capture leaking methane.

    Polity, Academia, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    The members of the Arctic Council should continue their efforts towards reaching binding agreements and recognize the necessary balance between national and common interests by accepting new observers.

    The members of the Arctic Council should continue their efforts towards reaching binding agreements and recognize the necessary balance between national and common interests by accepting new observers.

    The members of the Arctic Council should continue their efforts towards reaching binding agreements and recognize the necessary balance between national and common interests by accepting new observers.

    Polity, Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Building Bridges for a Sustainable Future in the Arctic, a Key Region in a Globalised World

    Energy resources in the Arctic: a global issue in a diversified region The Arctic is not an isolated region. Energy resources in the circumpolar North and related issues can only be dealt with, if we ...

    Energy resources in the Arctic: a global issue in a diversified region The Arctic is not an isolated region. Energy resources in the circumpolar North and related issues can only be dealt with, if we consider the issue of exploiting resources in this harsh and fragile environment, through a global perspective, and in a diversified way. The Arctic consists of various sub-regions, which are very different from each other, and where sea ice conditions vary notably. The region is to be understood in a global perspective because challenges of dealing with climate change are global. This is particularly relevant when

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Develop performance-based regulatory regimes

    Natural and operational conditions in various parts of the Arctic are far from homogenous. Regulations must relate to the actual challenges in each sub-region. All-encompassing regulations tend to be ...

    Natural and operational conditions in various parts of the Arctic are far from homogenous. Regulations must relate to the actual challenges in each sub-region. All-encompassing regulations tend to be inflexible and conservative. Moreover, the industry is very dynamic. What is possible to regulate and what standards are realistic is constantly shifting. Regulators may simply not have the necessary knowledge to stay on top of developments, and an international regulatory framework might become inherently conservative or outdated. To ensure a dynamic process where environmental standards are constantly being raised, regulators should be encouraged to focus on establishing risk criteria and develop

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    A new international dialogue about the ‘math’ of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic

    There should be a new international dialogue about the ‘math’ of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic. There is a prevailing policy orthodoxy that suggests that drilling for oil offshore in the A ...

    There should be a new international dialogue about the ‘math’ of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic. There is a prevailing policy orthodoxy that suggests that drilling for oil offshore in the Arctic is inevitable, and that its regulation and management are the exclusive business of the Arctic states in which it will take place.  Yet the assumptions underlying the investment case for Arctic drilling are at best worrying and at worst dangerous.  They are founded on oil demand scenarios that imply unmanageable levels of climate change; and on an approach to cost and risk at the project level that

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Balancing national interests and common interests for sustainable energy exploration and production in the arctic ocean

    Proposal: Sustainable energy resource exploration and production in the Arctic Ocean involves operational strategies that balance national interests and common interests in the region Rationale: “Th ...

    Proposal: Sustainable energy resource exploration and production in the Arctic Ocean involves operational strategies that balance national interests and common interests in the region Rationale: “The Arctic is where three of the twenty-first century’s greatest challenges intersect: the pressing need for hydrocarbon resources, climate change, and the tendency to securitize areas containing these resources as well as the passages to them.”1 Interests in the Arctic Ocean extend most immediately from the surrounding stakeholders and rights holders – Arctic states and indigenous peoples – to the non-Arctic states and global civil society more generally. The difficulty is to reconcile and harmonize

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Science diplomacy to ensure rational use of energy resources in the arctic ocean

    Proposal: Science diplomacy is fundamental to the rational use of energy resources in the Arctic Ocean. Rationale: Contributions of “science and research to the collective understanding of the circu ...

    Proposal: Science diplomacy is fundamental to the rational use of energy resources in the Arctic Ocean. Rationale: Contributions of “science and research to the collective understanding of the circumpolar Arctic"1 underlie the sustainable development of the region. In this sense, science is fundamental to the exploration and production of energy resources in the Arctic Ocean. We now can look across previous centuries and millennia to understand the relevance of modern events and phenomena. We also have expanding capacity to predict future environmental conditions and impacts in our world; reflecting our increasing dependence on accurate observations and objective analyses that are

    Academia
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Exploring Energy Resources in the Arctic Ocean

    Emergency Response Agreement While energy production in the Arctic Ocean is a national affair, the associated risks are clearly not. An accident on one of the prospective production sites or of one of ...

    Emergency Response Agreement While energy production in the Arctic Ocean is a national affair, the associated risks are clearly not. An accident on one of the prospective production sites or of one of the supply ships might well have environmental impacts on neighboring states. For this reason, the Arctic states will have to agree on a treaty that lays down responsibilities in preventing and fighting such an emergency in a coordinated manner. The model for such an agreement could well be the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement and the platform for negotiations, accordingly, the Arctic Council. In the context of

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Background Paper

    Background Paper
    Symposium 2012

    Thinking about the Arctic's Future: Scenarios for 2040

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society