Posted at 10:25 AM on July 24, 2008
by Jeff Horwich
The US Geological Survey estimates areas north of the Arctic Circle hold a huge untapped bank of oil and natural gas: 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- almost as much gas as is held in the Middle East. And -- kind of a bummer for North America -- most of that natural gas is in Russian territory.
All told, this latest estimate for the Arctic amounts to 1/5 of the world's recoverable oil and natural gas.
Here's the fun irony: Most of this oil and gas has always been considered unrecoverable, too difficult to tap and remove. But thanks to global warming, the polar icecap is receding and making it possible to get at this stuff.