As Arctic oil exploration expands, study warns of spill potential

By on August 1, 2014
Arctic ice (Credit: Pink floyd88 a, via Wikimedia Commons)

Arctic ice (Credit: Pink floyd88 a, via Wikimedia Commons)

As warming global temperatures push Arctic sea ice further and further north, oil companies have begun eying the region and its oil reserves estimated at 90 billion barrels. A study by the World Wildlife Fund projected that an oil spill or oil well blowout in the Arctic could spread more than 1,000 kilometers, Reuters reported.

Working with RPS Applied Science Associates, the WWF modeled 22 oil spill scenarios to determine affected areas, shoreline impact and potential effects on nearby ecosystems. The study modeled shipping spills and well blowouts in deep and shallow water.

Oil companies such as Conoco Phillips and Statoil have already examined the Arctic for drilling operations. Royal Dutch Shell ceased its Arctic drilling program when its drilling rig ran aground in 2012.

Image: Arctic ice (Credit: Pink floyd88 a, via Wikimedia Commons)


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