How we work
© US Coast Guard
Arctic Oil and Gas

The Arctic could hold some of the world's largest remaining untapped oil and gas reserves. Sustainability must be prioritized over exploitation in the Arctic because the implications are global.

Why it matters

Significant oil reserves lie offshore, in the Arctic's shallow and biologically productive shelf seas.

Oil spills from blowouts, pipeline leaks or shipping accidents pose a tremendous risk to Arctic ecosystems. Marine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable.

Important species are at risk
Offshore oil exploration, drilling and production can disturb the fish and animals that are cornerstones of the subsistence and cultural livelihoods of Indigenous peoples in the Arctic.
Spill cleanup is impossible
There is no proven method for containing and cleaning up an oil spill in icy water
Spill response is slow
Even if we try to clean up a spill the lack of infrastructure and remoteness of the Arctic means it can take days or weeks to respond. The Arctic has short summers, low temperatures, and limited sunlight, it can take decades for Arctic regions to recover from damage.
Ocean noise injures marine mammals
Whales and other marine mammals use sound to navigate, find mates, and find food in dark Arctic waters.

Our solutions

How we work

Publications

The Circle 04.18
The Circle 04.18
1 October 2018
Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas
Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas
17 September 2018
The Circle 03.18
The Circle 03.18
17 July 2018
Prospects and opportunities for using LNG for bunkering in the Arctic regions of Russia
Prospects and opportunities for using LNG for bunkering in the Arctic regions of Russia
1 July 2017
Arctic Council Conservation Scorecard
Arctic Council Conservation Scorecard
1 April 2016
Modeling Oil Spills in the Beaufort, Bering and Barents Seas
Modeling Oil Spills in the Beaufort, Bering and Barents Seas
16 December 2014

Meet the team

Nils Harley Boisen

Nils Harley Boisen

WWF-Norway

Advisor, Arctic and Northern Areas

Mark Brooks

Mark Brooks

WWF-Canada

Specialist, Arctic oil and gas

Alexey Knizhnikov

Alexey Knizhnikov

WWF-Russia

Leader, Extractive Industry Programme

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