Oil Drilling in the Arctic

A Russian oil platform similar to the one that sank on Dec 23, 2011  (AP photo by Andrei Pronin, Nov 2010)

According to a March 2011 CNBC report, Russia is now the number two producer of oil in the world, right behind Saudi Arabia.  Both countries have an output of close to 10 million barrels of crude oil/per day.

The United Sates is a close third, at 8.85 million barrels/per day.  The other nations of the world’s top 15, rack up production rates of between 2 to 5 million barrels of crude oil/per day.  (A “barrel” of oil is close to 44 US gallons.)

Traffic jam in China, 2010

In the never ending search to sate the world’s unquechable thirst for oil, companies have now conquered all of the earth’s habitable regions on land, and in the ocean.  We are now exploiting the more remote and treacherous regions of the planet, including the deep ocean, and the Arctic.

In a risky business where underground pressures can blow-out an oil well like a shaken-up bottle of champaigne, environmentalists are increasingly worried about companies extending into areas where harsh conditions not only make drilling and extraction difficult, but clean-up and restoration impossible.

A blow-out like the Gulf oil disaster of April 2010 would turn the pristine Arctic into a lifeless oil soaked nightmare – forever.

“Deepwater Horizon” British Petroleum Oil Platform,  April 20, 2010

Last month, a floating Russian oil rig bound for the Arctic sank, killing 50 workers in an incident reminiscent of the BP disaster of 2010.  Except in this case, the rig had not yet started drilling for oil.  The accident cast into doubt Russia’s ability to safely extract oil in an extremely harsh and fragile region of the Earth.

Now, organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity are calling on our governmant to set the lead in stopping unwise and negligent drilling for oil in the Arctic.

Please make your voice heard, and contact the Obama administration at the Dept. of the Interior through this LINK.

For more on the federal offshore oil drilling plan, please go here:  LINK

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Press reports on the latest oil-rig disaster in Russia:

MOSCOW (AP) — The sinking of a floating oil rig that left more than 50 crew dead or missing is intensifying fears that Russian companies searching for oil in remote areas are unprepared for emergencies — and could cause a disastrous spill in the pristine waters of the Arctic.

Only four months ago, Russian energy giant Gazprom sent Russia’s first oil platform to the environmentally sensitive region, and industry experts and environmentalists warned it is unfit for the harsh conditions and is too far from rescue crews to be reached quickly in case of an accident. They are demanding Russia put Arctic oil projects on hold.

Russia is the world’s largest oil producer, but it extracts most of its oil onshore, with no more than 2 percent of its production coming from mature offshore fields in the warm Black and Caspian seas and relatively new fields just off Sakhalin Island in the far east.

As Russia’s core oil fields in Eastern Siberia are depleted, companies are looking north. The government hopes that up to 80 million tons of oil will be produced annually in the Arctic by 2030.

Article:  HERE

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