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Global energy: Huge gambits for Big Oil

ACTION AGAINST OIL: Greenpeace is opposed to Shell’s planned drilling in the Arctic

As oil and gas exploration extends ever further across the globe, David Watts considers the rewards and risks of drilling for black gold in the Arctic wilderness.


 

Is 2012 the tipping point? Not in American or Indian electoral terms or even with the future of the Euro. Perhaps more far-reaching than any of these is the future direction of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic oceans.

Most nations of the world stand to benefit if it goes ahead and is safe, successful and causes no environmental damage. But if it goes ahead and a large-scale oil spill results, the consequences will be devastating not only for the environment but for the energy future of the world.

Not only are Greenpeace and Paul McCartney opposed, but it’s a fair bet that most ‘men and women on the street’ would oppose exploitation of the Arctic were the question put to them.

Despite the Gulf of Mexico spill, the pressures are on for Big Oil to be allowed to exploit this pristine wilderness and with not only the American, Russian and Norwegian governments ready to press ahead, it is unlikely that anyone will be able to stand in the way of this monumental development.

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