Arctic region contains largest unexplored deposits of oil left
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The race for resources is on, although the United States remains at the starting gate. Joining Arctic neighbors in the exploration for and extraction of oil, gas, and rare earth minerals in the U.S. portion could provide an economic boon to the flailing economy of the United States. In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stated that ‘‘The extensive Arctic continental shelves may constitute the geographically largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on earth.’’11 In the report, the USGS estimates that 90 billion barrels of oil, nearly 1,700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids may remain to be discovered throughout the region. Nearly all (84 percent) of the oil and gas is expected to be found offshore. The USGS estimate for total undiscovered oil and gas in the Arctic exceeds the total discovered amount of Arctic oil and oil-equivalent natural gas.12
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic region is the largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on earth with an estimated ninety billion barrels of undiscovered oil reserves, and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In addition, the unpredictability of the Persian Gulf region makes the Arctic region even more attractive for exploitation.