Published:January 01, 1973
The Arctic region is all of the earth north of 60°N lat.-an area of 14 million sq mi (36.4 million sq km), or 7 percent of the world's surface area and 14 percent of its land area.
Russia fronts 52 percent of the Arctic Ocean and has jurisdiction over 70 percent of the continental shelves. Moreover, of the approximately 256 million persons living in the six Arctic nations, 244 million are citizens of the USSR. It is plain from these statistics that Russia's position in the Arctic is not ??? predominant; it is overwhelming.
The same statement is true of the mineral resources of the Arctic. Although not well explored, Russia's nonhy-drocarbon mineral wealth probably is proportionate to her Arctic area. Russia's hydrocarbon reserves are far out of proportion to the area controlled; for example, proved plus probable reserves in the West Siberian basin alone are double those of the entire U.S.
Control of the Arctic, therefore, is vital to Russia, but despite her much greater population, she does not yet have manpower to develop and control the Arctic. Development of Arctic resources will take place best in an atmosphere of international peace and cooperation.
Figures & Tables
Following the discovery of Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968, much attention was turned to the Arctic in the search for giant hydrocarbon accumulations. The Soviets had already proved giant reserves in their West Siberian Basin, and exploration was moving ahead quickly in the Canadian Arctic. Plans were drawn up for an AAPG Symposium on Arctic Geology and held in February 1971. Papers were selected from the Symposium for this publication and cover seven topical groupings: Regional Arctic Geology of Canada, Regional Arctic Geology of the Nordic Countries, Regional Arctic Geology of the USSR, Regional Arctic Geology of Alaska, Comparisons in the North Atlantic Borders, Evolution of the Arctic Ocean Basin, and Economics of Petroleum Exploration and Production in the Arctic.