Russia has big plans for arctic oil

Russia seems to want to sell the very last barrel of oil to the world. As other energy superpowers and petro-states around the world strive to diversify their economies and gain a foothold in the burgeoning green energy transition, Russia has categorically refused to reduce its dependence on its industry. fossil fuels and competes for the distinction of being the last man standing in an industry whose days are inevitably numbered.

This strategy could pay off for years, if not decades, to come. While the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded the alarm Whether we have reached the point of no return of global warming, with a total and unrestricted retreat of fossil fuels absolutely necessary to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, this kind of overnight revolution is highly unlikely. It is more than likely that the world still has an appetite for hundreds of billions of barrels of oil, and Russia will be more than happy to provide them, to hell with the UN “red code for humanity”. In fact, in the short term, this strategy could give the Russian economy a huge boost as competitors go green and disappear.

As part of Russia’s efforts to dominate the future of the fossil fuel industry, the country is rapidly scaling up its operations in the Arctic. This plan, worryingly, is a double whammy for the environment – extracting and moving more fossil fuels that experts are begging the global community to keep in the ground while tapping into one of the world’s most vulnerable and essential ecosystems. world, impacting the entire planet. The issue of Arctic drilling and shipping is such a contentious and contentious one that five of the six largest banks in the United States (a group generally little known for its environmental leanings) have surrendered completely from drilling companies in arctic refuges.

Despite the reluctance of the global community to support the exploitation of the Arctic as a source of fossil fuels and as a shipping route for goods, including natural gas, Russia and China have looked into the business, which some call the “”Polar Silk Road. “Right now, hundreds of ships crowd the Arctic coast around the Gydan Peninsula, carrying building materials for new fossil fuel mining operations in some of the most delicate and essential ecosystems in the world. planet.

Russian gas company Novatek is currently developing its new Arctic LNG 2 project on the northern peninsula, where it is working hard on the construction of a port terminal that will have the capacity to process nearly 20 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas. per year. The Gydan Peninsula is just one of many strategic Arctic hot spots that Russia is rushing to develop. The Gulf of Ob and the Yamal Peninsula are also priority locations for the Kremlin’s future oil and gas strategy. Ships are now crowding in all of these places to deliver building materials and dredge deeper shipping lanes. “The Gulf of Ob is not the only place for unprecedented arctic industrial development”, The Barents Observer recently reported. “A little further east on the Taymyr Peninsula, oil tankers and coal miners are busy developing terminal facilities for major new projects. “

As world leaders, scientists and environmentalists sound the alarm bells for a ‘code red for humanity’ and warn that we must act now or never to reverse our path to catastrophic climate change, Russia is failing to act now or never to reverse our path to catastrophic climate change. has made no secret of its plans to take advantage of the melting arctic ice to open up new shipping routes for its fossil fuel industry. “By 2024, Russia intends to increase Arctic route shipments to 80 million tonnes per year,” says the Barents Observer, “and by 2030 – to 150 million tonnes”.

By Haley Zaremba for OilUSD

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