Oil and Gas in a new Arctic.Developments of the Energy Issue and Regional Strategic Dynamic


  • Niklas Granholm
  • Ingolf Kiesow

Publish date: 2010-03-31

Report number: FOI-R--2971--SE

Pages: 83

Written in: Swedish


  • geostrategy
  • security policy
  • the Arctic
  • Shipping
  • Northern Sea Route
  • North West Passage
  • EU
  • NATO
  • climate change
  • military strategy
  • nuclear weapons
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Greenland
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Russia
  • USA
  • Canada
  • China
  • Great Britain
  • France
  • Germany
  • energy extraction
  • natural gas
  • shale gas
  • LNG
  • oil
  • ice-breakers
  • security of supply
  • energypolicy


This study has as its points of departure that large reserves of energy and minerals are deposited in the Arctic. There is uncertainty on how large these reserves are and if extraction of them is technically and economically feasible. As the Arctic gradually becomes more accessible as the melting of the sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean progresses, the region becomes m,ore open to human activities than everbefore. The energy issue in the Arctic develop against the background of the region´s increasing geostrategic importance. Russia shows no hesitation, Norway also put considerable resources into energy extraction in the Arctic. Environmental protection is a more prominent issue in Norway, Canada and the USA than in Russia. In addition to the energy issue, other factors in the Arctic are also changing. Shipping, climate change, military strategy, nuclear weapons, overlapping territorial claims, developments in international security and national policies and efforts, are all parts of a development that does not easly let itself be described and analysed. The different factors under change develop according to their own character and inner logic and how they interact will be hard to foresee. Uncertainties of future developments in the Arctic therefore remain. The Arctic will become more clearly linked into developments in the rest of the world than hitherto. The region will no longer be exclusively an issue for the states in the region. The interest in the Arctic is on the increase, not only from the Arctic states, but also from external state actors in Europe and Asia, as well as multilateral organisations such as the European Union and NATO.