Lots of interesting news happening in the Arctic.
The CCGS Louis S St Laurent is operating in the Beaufort Sea approximately 240 miles north of Point Barrow Alaska. Onboard are scientists from all over the world looking into the climate changes and how it is affecting multi year ice.
Also onboard, members of NRCan are conductng experiments for UNCLOS bottom surveys on the continental shelf. This is vital to ensure our continuing sovereignty of the Artic archipeligo.
Highlights from the scientist's blogs from the Louis can be seen:
and the ships present position here:
At this site:
Scientist blog their findings from the Laptev Sea onboard the Kapitan Dranitsyn and from the Beaufort Sea onboard the Louis.
You are probably wondering why I am posting this on a marine engineering board. It is not only the climate and ice heating up in the high North. There was the recent comments by the American ambassodor that stated that the US does not recognize Canada's sovereignty past the 12 mile limit.
And on the Marinelink.com news board this was posted today:
EU, Norway Eye Arctic Oil, Gas Deposits
Thursday, August 31, 2006
EU and Norway’s energy officials met in Brussels on August 30 to examine ways of strengthening a bilateral energy dialogue launched in 2002. Short-term issues include increasing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) deliveries to Europe as well as the planned opening in October 2006 of the "Britpipe" linking Sleipner in Norway to Easington, UK. By 2015-2020, natural gas deliveries from Norway are expected to grow from 85 billion cubic meters to 120 bcm, EU officials said. However, talks on longer-term exploitation of the expected huge oil and gas reserves in the Arctic will probably attract most attention. The region is believed to hold 25 percent of the earth's hydrocarbons, according to the US Geological Survey. And as international demand for fossil fuels continues to rise, the High North is attracting growing interest from big oil and gas companies. But a territorial row between Norway and Russia in the so-called "disputed zone" of the Barents Sea has so far prevented further exploration, let alone commercial exploitation of these resources. According to euractiv.com, natural gas deposits in the Arctic, such as the Shtokman and Snøvit gas fields could provide as much as 50 bcm of gas per year, covering 7-9 percent of the EU's entire gas consumption by 2020. Other problems include the high costs of deep offshore drilling and environmental concerns such as the oil and gas industry's coexistence with fisheries. The 2005 EU-Norway energy dialogue confirmed interest from both sides to strengthen cooperation on energy efficiency, renewables, and security of energy supply, including exploration and production activities in the Arctic area. (Source: www.euractiv.com)
It may not come in my career, but the heydays of the Beaufort drilling days will be back. The question is will the Canadian government be ready?
Who knows how many new engineers will be needed when the boom begins.