Other Arctic nations are taking the lead in developing rich Arctic resources in oil, minerals, and rare earth elements
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Russia is in the lead for Arctic oil exploration in its region, with its neighbors not far behind. Last year, Russia announced plans for two oil giants to begin drilling as early as 2015.15 The Russian firm Gazprom is developing the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea, home to one of the world’s largest natural gas deposits. Russia has active oil and gas fields off western Siberia and is shipping oil from an offshore terminal in the Pechora Sea to Murmansk.16 Greenland is embarking on offshore drilling near Disko Island off its west coast.17 Norway has developed the Snoh- vit gas field in the Barents Sea near the Hammerfest and is shipping its output of liquefied natural gas to Europe and North America.18 In 2008, Canada received C$1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) from British Petroleum for rights to explore three parcels in Canada’s Beaufort Sea, north of the Arctic Circle.19 The world is one step closer to the Arctic economy. Rare earth minerals are also embedded in the Arctic. Red Dog Mine, the largest zinc mine in the world, is located in northwest Alaska and is quite profitable despite operating only 99 days a year.20 Across the Arctic in Siberia, is the Norilsk Nickel mining com- plex, which leads the world in nickel and palladium production, and is not far behind with copper.21 Rich iron ore deposits run through Canada in the Baffin Basin.22
Russia, Denmark, Norway, and Canada are staking their claims to Arctic resources but the United States, which has conducted research on how far the continental shelf extends from Alaska toward the North Pole, cannot submit any of its evidence because it is not a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).