A Viable Multinational Cooperative Arctic Development Regime
On May 8th 2006, Viktor Khristenko. Russia's industry and energy minister said; ..."At a time when energy increasingly affects the wellbeing of billions of people around the world, it is imperative that the world's leaders establish a serious plan for achieving energy security..... Almost two billion people worldwide lack modern-day energy services and many do not have electricity. This blocks their access to the many benefits and advances of civilization...."
The United Arctic Consortium has declared itself a ”Responsible Oil and Gas Development Agent of "the common heritage of all mankind” in respect of the arctic Ocean Commons area.
The central portion of the Arctic Ocean covering an area of approximately 2,000,000 square kilometers is outside the United Nations agreed Exclusive Economic Zone, (EEZ) area controlled by the five surrounding nations and thus a Commons area in international waters belonging to all humanity. It is within this “Arctic Oceans Commons” region that the United Arctic Consortium proposes to develop a potentially large multinational oil and gas resource industry.
The Arctic Ocean Commons area surrounding and now covered by the rapidly retreating Arctic ice is widely believed to contain substantial petroleum resources and could offer great rewards to humanity which is entering a new era of global energy shortage and dangerous energy competition. All told, one quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas resources lies in the Arctic, according to the United States Geological Survey. It is vital that the Arctic oil and gas resources are carefully managed in this highly valuable, yet vulnerable, region. Unplanned and uncoordinated Arctic development could put the environment and peoples lives at unnecessary risk.
Very large risk capital amounts will be required to develop the Arctic Ocean Commons oil and gas in a way so as to protect the environment and currently individual governments, the United Nations or other governmental institutions, are currently unable or unwilling to provide.
Because of the extreme operating environment and delicate ecology it would be preferable for one overarching strong commercially responsible globally represented organization to manage and develop the Arctic resources. This will eliminate the often illogical and sometimes dangerous compromises due to artificially prescribed national boundaries, lack of capital and expertise of governments and individual companies and-or narrow politically motivated restrictions.
The United Arctic Consortium has a viable politically, environmentally and commercially sound solution for easing the global energy emergency by careful shared development of the Arctic oil and Gas resources contained in the common Arctic Ocean area. The United Arctic Consortium has created a unique cooperative international development plan which benefits fairly all of the surrounded countries and effected parties, in effect making them responsible Arctic Commons resources development partners. At the same time providing for a technically and environmentally viable development consortium structure of like minded oil and gas corporations to deliver promptly much needed energy supplies to the world markets, thus reducing friction between countries and contributing to the greater peace of mankind.
The Arctic Ocean Commons United Arctic Consortium cooperative development approach is the best possible solution forming the basis for an effective and long-term exploration of the petroleum resources in this important resource-rich area. The United Arctic Consortium invites suitably qualified oil and gas companies bordering the Arctic Ocean Commons region and from around the world to participate in the Consortium’s Arctic Commons oil and gas resources development. The United Arctic Consortium has an Arctic oil and gas development plan, which will ensure that a grouping of major private industry oil and gas companies in full consultation with governments will work together to ensure that much needed Arctic Oil and Gas will flow sooner to the benefit of all humanity.
The United Arctic Consortium, will operate as the “lead manager” tasked to create a multinational joint venture consortium of major oil companies - whose technology and managerial expertise will be vital to recovering the oil and gas from the harsh deep waters of the Arctic in an environmentally safe manner. Oil and Gas Companies from the five countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean will be given priority participation rights. Participation will be restricted to qualified major oil and gas companies. Typically the consortium will allow only two major companies from any one country so as to ensure broad global participation.
Natural Gas, which is expected to be in greater abundance in the Arctic, is a cleaner energy, the greater use of which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, therefore its responsible development will greatly improve the global environment. Natural gas is the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel and it has emerged as the environmentally preferred fuel of choice. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates domestic US natural gas demand will grow by more than 40 percent between now and 2025 - growth driven largely by new gas-fired electric generation nationwide.
The Energy Problems:
Around three quarters of the world’s oil and gas reserves are now off-limits to International oil companies and a resurgence of resource nationalism threatens to further curtail their access. This represents a huge capital and expertise wastage, which the United Arctic Consortium proposes to help alleviate by responsibly developing the Arctic Ocean Commons area resources.
The Arctic Solution:
For the entire world, Arctic Oceans Commons oil and gas deliveries would provide a welcome new supplier and a crucial guarantee of future energy security, at a time when the world’s oil and gas fields are generally ageing and their production slowing, leaving the world increasingly dependent on ever dwindling supplies.
If the UN and governments are wise enough to give the United Arctic Consortium their full support to develop appropriate regimes it will hasten the Arctic oil and gas development and help to alleviate the imminent threat of energy wars. Anything less will be irresponsible on the part of the global community and inexcusable.
Guidelines of the United Arctic Consortium's policy in the Arctic Commons:
1) Carefully planned extraction of oil and natural gas from the Arctic Ocean commons by the United Arctic Consortium can safely provide the world with much needed energy thus contributing to global energy security and the greater world peace.
2) The United Arctic Consortium will make significant contributions to Arctic environmental safety, inter-government cooperation, regional Arctic stability and needed resource development and energy delivery predictability in the Arctic Ocean Commons region.
3) The United Arctic Consortium will engage with the surrounding nations and the global community to help ensure the Arctic Ocean Commons oil and gas resources are developed fairly in such a way as to make the Arctic Ocean as a model region of global political peace and stability, providing increased global energy security, new prosperity for the surrounding communities and nations while practicing the highest possible environmental and safety standards.
4) The United Arctic Consortium will share revenues and benefits with the surrounding communities and nations in an equitable and transparent manner.
5) The United Arctic Consortium will help fund efforts to study, protect and manage the living marine and wildlife resources of the Arctic Ocean in a way that safeguards the interests of the environment for the benefit of all mankind.
6) The United Arctic Consortium will invite the world’s foremost experts and organizations to join with the Consortium to ensure that the Arctic development is always at the technological development forefront in this exciting new era of arctic oil and gas exploration and development as is already happening in the lower Arctic, in a way that takes full account of the special needs and vulnerabilities of the vulnerable Arctic environment.
7) The United Arctic Consortium will work with governments, organizations and agencies to provide a solid environmentally and commercially viable framework for exploiting petroleum potential in the Arctic Ocean commons while also protecting the sensitive environment in the Arctic region. Within a framework of sustainable oil and gas development and ecosystem based resource management, considerations to the different needs and requirements of the Arctic communities and oil and gas industries need to be balanced. For Arctic petroleum activity this means that the agreed exploration and operating framework conditions in the Arctic must be predictable. An Arctic Ocean wide Consortium development approach will ensure that the needs of the environment as a whole will be better met.
FULLY RESOLVED ARCTIC OCEAN COMMONS RESOURCE SOVEREIGNTY ISSUES;
Each of the Arctic Ocean surrounding countries have their own exclusive control over very large highly prospective offshore Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) within which they can arrange and control their own national oil and gas developments. Thus far it can hardly be said that any individual country has adequately developed those Arctic resources. Partially as a result mankind is facing increasing global energy insecurity and peril. Therefore Arctic region governments do not have any legitimate technical, financial or moral claim to the exclusive development of any part of the Common Arctic Ocean area, especially given the current global energy insecurity situation. Any narrow nationalistic Arctic claim beyond the 200 mile EEZ has no moral or legal basis, especially given the general lack of energy development within each country's own EEZ areas.
The United Arctic Consortium will invite evaluate and secure consortium participants over the next 6 to 12 months then prepare and inform the community of Arctic Nations as well as the United Nations with more detailed plans for the Arctic Commons oil and gas development, which the international community can evaluate and contribute to.
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