Recent years have seen increasing interest in offshore oil exploration in the Arctic and other frontier regions. Offshore petroleum exploration, development and transport in the Arctic have expanded to include Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the United States.
While these activities may seem like new developments, Arctic offshore oil exploration, and in some cases production, has occurred since the 1920s, with more than 500 wells drilled. To date, Arctic operations – offshore and onshore combined – have produced some 40 billion barrels of oil and 1100 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Today, onshore and offshore Arctic production accounts for 15% of world energy supply. By 2050, global energy demand is likely to double and it is forecast that between 60%-70% of that demand will be met by fossil fuels.
As global production from developed fields declines, Arctic oil and gas supply will be essential to continue to meet growing global energy demand.