What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Russia’s great white north oil grab

Jill Barshay Jun 29, 2007


Lisa Napoli: Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t need a hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine, this weekend — he’ll be staying at Bush family estate. The president might be asking about Russia’s new claim to annex a big chunk of the Arctic Ocean. Jill Barshay reports bringing up Russia’s North Pole ambition might not be the best icebreaker:

Jill Barshay: Russian scientists say Siberia is connected to a huge underwater ridge that runs under the North Pole as far as Greenland.

Don Gautier is a U.S. Geological Survey chief. He’s looking at how much oil and gas lie beneath the Arctic Ocean.

He doesn’t think anyone will find much oil or gas under the Lomonosov Ridge, but he says both the Danes, who rule Greenland, and the Russians are still fighting over the territory.

Don Gautier: They would like to have a great influence on ship movements or siting of pipelines. Even if you didn’t find oil and gas on Lomonosov Ridge, if you controlled the movement of people and things across that part of the Arctic, than that would be worth something, huh?

The Arctic Ocean is supposed to be international territory. But the U.S. can’t challenge Russia’s claim. Washington has frozen itself out by refusing to ratify a treaty that governs international waters.

In New York, I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.