Extending coastal state boundaries into the central Arctic Ocean: outer continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles and the quest for hydrocarbons
Christian Marcussen, Ron Macnab, 2011. "Extending coastal state boundaries into the central Arctic Ocean: outer continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles and the quest for hydrocarbons", Arctic Petroleum Geology, Anthony M. Spencer, Ashton F. Embry, Donald L. Gautier, Antonina V. Stoupakova, Kai Sørensen
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Five Arctic coastal states – Canada, Denmark (on behalf of Greenland), Norway, Russia and the United States – are qualified to define Outer Continental Shelves beyond 200 nautical miles in the central Arctic Ocean, in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This paper provides an overview of recent and ongoing initiatives by those states, describing operational difficulties and offering a regional preview of possible outcomes. For the most part, the process is driven by a desire to expand national control over resources of the seabed, but recent appraisals suggest that the areas of interest are unlikely to contain significant and commercially exploitable quantities of hydrocarbons.