Originally published on August 25 by Gary Roughead on The Walls Street Journal.
In his message to the American people about his visit to Alaska next week, President Obama said “The alarm bells are ringing, and as long as I’m president, America will lead the world to meet this threat before it’s too late.” He was talking about climate change. But his words could just as well apply to the strategic moves that are being made in the vast Arctic region to secure its resources and potential.Russia is taking the lead in Arctic offshore oil production. Russia began producing offshore oil at the Prirazlomnaya field in the Pechora Sea in 2014, and last year it delivered roughly 2.2 million barrels. Gazprom Neft expects to more than double oil production this year from the country’s only offshore Arctic oil project.China isn’t far behind. Between 2009 and 2013, Chinese companies—mainly the big three, China National Petroleum Corp., Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (Cnooc)—were the largest buyers of international oil assets. Several of these acquisitions were made with the Arctic in mind, such as Canada’s Nexen and Russia’s Yamal LNG. Early last year, Cnooc obtained an exploration license for Iceland’s Dreki region in the Norwegian Sea. The company is also expected to be involved in Norway’s 2016 licensing round in the Barents Sea.Read the full story here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/in-the-race-for-arctic-energy-the-u-s-and-russia-are-polar-opposites-1440542608