Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Russia would gain most in Arctic fuel: study

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The first detailed scientific analysis of potential oil and gas deposits in the Arctic confirms that significant resource wealth could accrue to Canada, the U.S. and other northern nations, but identifies Russia as the biggest winner in the polar petroleum sweepstakes.

The study, headed by the U.S. Geological Survey, follows a high-profile announcement last year by the same agency that the Arctic realm holds almost one-quarter of the world's undiscovered hydrocarbon reserves -- some 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Russia will end up with the greatest share of Arctic resource wealth, though key offshore deposits in boundary waters shared with Norway are already a source of friction between those two countries.

"The largest predicted deposits of undiscovered gas in the region are located in areas of overlapping territorial claims by Russia and Norway," the study states.

-- Canwest News Service

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 29, 2009 A18

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