Russia has been beefing up its Arctic icebreaker fleet to take advantage of the changing climate.
Lev Fedoseyev\TASS via Getty Images
Russia is attempting to claim more of the Arctic seabed, an area rich in oil, gas and minerals. It’s also expanding shipping and reopening Arctic bases. Here are two things the U.S. can do about it.
Time to move on: Shell’s Kulluk rig being rescued by Coast Guard in 2013.
US Department of Defense
Did environmentalists force Shell to exit the Arctic? Not really. Blame economics and geopolitics first and foremost.
Troubles with Shell: in 2013, its drill became stranded and had to be rescued.
Aaron M. Johnson/US Air Force
Shell has abandoned oil exploration offshore Alaska for now but a variety of trends are driving the energy industry to take a fresh look at Arctic drilling.
Virgin territory. Sunrise over the Arctic resources battleground.
NOAA Photo Library
The economic viability of extracting oil from the frozen north might be doubtful, but the geopolitical significance could be massive.
The Kulluk, Shell’s Arctic offshore drilling platform, was grounded in 2013 after efforts by the US Coast Guard and tug vessel crews to move the vessel to a safe harbor during a winter storm.
Zachary Painter/ US Coast Guard/
Shell is going back to the Arctic to explore offshore drilling, but the company and the Department of Interior are not using the best practices for avoiding the risk of a spill.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has for decades been a center of debate on the tradeoffs between environmental protection and oil drilling.
Alaska Region US Fish & Wildlife Service
In a few months, we will mark the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The accident released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive impacts on the marine…