The Arctic appear to be the next target for the oil and gas industry. With up to a fifth of the world’s remaining reserves, it’s the single largest untapped region.
There is a concern though, can the oil be extracted safely? The industry likes to remind us there are hundreds of deepwater wells that have worked just fine. Environmentalists only have to point to BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and the Exxon Valdez disaster. Considering the inhospitable conditions in the North, it may not be if something goes wrong, but when.
The maps are based on historic wind, water and ice circulation data, and factor in wave turbulence and the effect of dispersants and sunshine.
WWF Canada president David Miller says the results reveal a number of concerning trends, notably that spilled oil is easily trapped in sea ice, making it difficult to contain and clean up, and allowing it to spread far from the site of the spill.”