Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Greenland Makes Oil Companies Melt

Ilulissat glacier, Greenland is a concern for environmentalists.
by Slim Allagui
Copenhagen (AFP) Jul 16, 2006
The remote oil fields of Greenland could become a new eldorado for oil companies thanks to a spectacular rise in fossil fuel prices and uncertainty concerning future supplies, experts say. Greenland will this week launch a new round of concessions for oil and gas exploration and officials expect record bidding.

"We have never known a level of interest for oil exploration like today, which makes us optimistic. Our dream of becoming a heavyweight energy producer could become reality one day," Joern Skov Nielsen, division head of Greenland's Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum, told AFP.

Several US and European oil companies have bought seismic data collected in the Disko bay, which will be opened for exploration in the new round of concessions, said Nielsen. "That's an unmistakable sign of interest," he said.

The fjord and glacier of Ilulissat, situated in the Disko bay, were in 2004 included in Unesco's world heritage sites, and exploration in the ecologically fragile area has been a cause of concern for environmentalists.

Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund have both expressed concern about the effect on whales, shellfish and sea birds living in the area.

Greenland's local government has promised that the environment will be protected.

But it also points out that Disko bay oil production could provide a vital financial windfall for the 58,000 inhabitants of Greenland, mostly inuits, who won home rule from Denmark in 1979.

After six test drillings in 1976, 1977 and 1990 failed to prove the potential for profitable exploitation, record oil prices are now key to unlocking the fuel potential of Greenland, which had previously scared off investors because of the high cost of accessing reserves in waters and land which are icebound for most of the year.

Global warming, which affects Greenland more than any other place, has also made the job of finding oil easier by reducing the thick layers of ice.

Greenlanders always have in the back of their minds that the liquid gold could one day finance their complete independence from Denmark on which they still depend for heavy subsidies to shore up their fishery-dependent economy.

Their current hopes focus on Canadian company EnCana, which in January 2005 won a licence for offshore oil and gas exploration between the 62nd and 69th parallel, 250 kilometres (156 miles) west of Nuuk.

In 2008, EnCana is to start drilling in the area which is estimated to contain up to two billion of barrels of oil equivalent.

A 2001 US Geological Survey found that north-eastern Greenland, facing Norway, was likely to boast spectacular reserves.

With the water just 100 to 200 metres deep, this sector is said to contain up to 110 billion barrels of oil, half of the known reserves in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of oil.

Greenland's government is already thinking about a fifth round of concessions within three or four years, Skov Nielsen said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Canada To Defend Its Oil And Uranium Exports At G8 Talks
Ottawa (AFP) Jul 07, 2006
Canada will look to defend its massive energy exports at a Group of Eight industrialized nations summit in St. Petersburg, Russia mid-July, officials said Friday. "The issue of energy, energy security, energy supply is very important to Canada," a senior official told reporters at a summit briefing in Ottawa.

  • Tsunami Aid Worth $7,100 Per Person
  • REDiSat Network Available To Companies And First Responders
  • Senate Votes to overhaul US Emergency Agency
  • India And Pakistan Ink Aid Pact Nine Months After Killer Quake

  • Slab May Fall From Eiger Any Day
  • Jellyfish-Like Creatures May Play Major Role In Fate Of Oceanic CO2
  • Catastrophic Lake Burst Chills Climate
  • Tropical Ice Cores Shows Two Abrupt Global Climate Shifts

  • Human Perception Of The Environmental Shapes Policy And Action
  • Europe To Launch First Polar Orbiting Weather Satellite
  • NASA Satellites Find Balance In South American Water Cycle
  • SSTL Delivers Beijing-1 EO Satellite

  • Greenland Makes Oil Companies Melt
  • Canada To Defend Its Oil And Uranium Exports At G8 Talks
  • UK Conservative Chief Gets Approval For Wind Turbine At Home
  • China To Complete Four Strategic Oil Reserve Facilities This Year

  • China Clamps Down On Flu Talk
  • Satellite Systems To Warn Of Health Threats
  • G8 Vaccine Plan In Danger Of Failure
  • Land Use, Land Cover Affect Human Health, Food Security

  • Life and Death On Planet Parasite
  • Hot And Heavy Dinos Rules The Earth
  • Deliquescence In The Atacama
  • Corals Switch Skeleton Material As Seawater Changes

  • 100 Million-Dollar ADB China Loan To Clean Up Wuhan Waterways
  • Hong Kong Leader Seeks Public Help In Clearing Up Pollution
  • Nearly Half Of Chinese Chemical Plants Pose Major Environmental Risks
  • Thirty Years After Chemical Disaster Italy Still At Pollution Mercy

  • Talk To Your Baby And They Learn To Speak
  • Same Genes Act Differently In Males And Females
  • Composer Reveals Musical Chords' Hidden Geometry
  • FSU Etruscan Expert Announces Historic Discovery At Ancient Site

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement