A Cold, Cold War over Arctic Oil and Gas

The U.S. is in the thick of a fight to access huge reserves at the top of the world.

A cold war, literally and figuratively, is brewing over huge energy reserves. The U.S., Russia and Canada are jostling in the frigid Arctic to stake claims to develop what may be the world’s largest untapped supply of oil and natural gas.

Up for grabs: about 90 billion barrels of oil and 2 trillion cubic feet of gas -- around 25% and 30%, respectively, of the world’s undeveloped reserves of the two fuels. For perspective, the oil pooled beneath the Arctic Ocean and tundra amounts to nearly seven times the oil bonanza contained in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay field, the largest in the U.S.

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Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter