A Race to the Top: Oil & Gas Exploration in the Canadian Arctic

Michael Kuzik


This paper will shed light on the harsh climactic, economic and political realities of oil and gas exploration and development in the Canadian Arctic.  There are vast untapped oil and natural gas resources in the Canadian Arctic, according to the United States Geological Survey, Washington’s Energy Information Agency and Canada’s Department of Natural Resources. These sources estimate potential reserves totalling billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Difficulties, however, arise in first finding the oil and gas and getting the product to market, while at the same time establishing and following preventative measures required to protect the environment, both on land and at sea.  Just because there is potential, or even substantial, oil or gas discoveries does not mean the economics or the environmental costs justify the effort.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.