The National Petroleum Council published a new report on the Arctic today, commissioned by the U.S. Energy Secretary in preparation for U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council commencing in April 2015. The report reviews the ecological and human environment, relevant research and technology around arctic resource potential, the challenges of operating in the Arctic, and the experience of the oil and gas industry in arctic conditions.
The study finds that most U.S. Arctic offshore conventional oil and gas potential can be developed using existing field-proven technology, while protecting the environment and benefiting local populations. The report also finds that while the Arctic environment poses some unique challenges, these are generally well understood and the oil and gas industry has a long history of successful operations in arctic conditions.
The report outlines that there have been substantial recent technology and regulatory advancements to reduce the potential for and consequences of a spill. Recommendations from the report include that these technological advancements can be even further developed, assessed and demonstrated in the future, to reduce the environmental impact of exploration and development and to gain acceptance by regulators and key stakeholders. It is recognised that developing arctic oil and gas requires securing public confidence and recommendations are also included for policy and regulatory improvements to enable the application of best technology and practices.
The full report and more information on the study can be found at the dedicated microsite.