It is theArctic the “third wheel” between the skyrocketing gas price and the geopolitical war between Usa e Russia. Gazprom, Total e ConocoPhillips they have already raised a lot of funds to search for fossils in the region (which also has a strong focus on cyber security). It is about 230 billion pounds between loans and subscriptions from commercial banks to invest in the Arctic, demonstrating an ever-increasing attention where one cannot fail to notice an increase in international aims, on an area that could represent an energy potential that is not yet scientifically quantifiable , but which nevertheless presents very concrete prospects, despite the EU strategy is in fact the opposite: the Commission holds a moratorium on the extraction of hydrocarbons from the Arctic.
JPMorgan Chase figure to first place among investors with 18.6 billion dollars, followed by Barclays with 13.2, Citigroup with 12.2 and BNP Paribas with 11.8. Russia already has licenses in its hands for an area where, according to Moscow’s estimates, there may be at least 64 million tons of oil and 146 billion cubic meters of natural gas. On this point there is the strong activism of Gazprom Neft which points to the license rights for the Ust-Yenisey area in the extreme north of the Taymyr peninsula, in the area where the Yenisey river flows into the Yenisey bay. The request was processed by the Russian mining agency Rosnedra. But that’s not all: on the coast of the Laptev Sea is located the Kyuchus field, potentially able to contain more than 175 tons of gold. For Moscow it will be one of the largest gold mining projects and its development includes the construction of a nuclear power plant. Gold mining is conducted in several places in the Russian Arctic, including the far north where the Sezar-Arktika company has several mining licenses.
The American response was not long in coming. On 5 October, the expert forum of theArctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) with representatives from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States: the aim is to research and plan future on-site exercises. While on the one hand at the center of the discussions there was officially the issue of cooperation with the coast guard to promote responsible maritime activities in the Arctic, on the other it is impossible not to notice how this is evolving, in a geopolitical and military key, new battleground between super players engaged in the tender to win energy resources.
Two weeks ago the American president Joe Biden announced the appointment of the six commissioners of the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC): Michael Sfraga (president), Elizabeth Ann Cravalho, David Michael Kennedy, Mark D. Myers, Jackie A. Richter-Menge, Deborah Vo. They will provide guidance for carrying out scientific research in the Arctic, with attention also to industrial prospects.
It is also a few days ago the launch of the satellite americano Landsat 9, with a forty-year background in terms of collected data: the first Landsat dates back to 1972. The satellite will study the evolution of soil, forests and glaciers framing them in the macro theme of climate change and will work until 2030, precisely in a decade in which scientists predict that the Arctic could, for a short period, finally become free from ice. It is therefore attractive for those who want to exploit its resources. If that happens, then Landsat 9 will be the first satellite to capture this turning point.