STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

The Arctic: Potential for Conflict amidst Cooperation

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  • July 2013
    Volume: 
    37
    Issue: 
    4
    Arctic: The New Front

    Changes in the Arctic topography due to climate change have resulted in the region, which erstwhile was remote with little accessibility, to being accessible with potential natural resources and attractive navigable sea areas. The prospects have also influenced the strategic contours of the Arctic and brought in many actors that view the region as a resource-rich area with viable commercial interests. The Arctic attraction has gained significance as an economic goldmine with estimates indicating the region to hold about 22 per cent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in the world. The approximate breakdown as per a US Geological Survey report is about 13 per cent of the undiscovered oil, 30 per cent of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20 per cent of the undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world. About 84 per cent of the estimated resources are expected to occur offshore.

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