Russia discovers oil and gas reserves in Antarctica — ten times bigger than North Sea

 HMS Portland comes face to face with the remarkable size of the Nordenskjold Glacier in South Georgia and local wildlife. Antarctica

While no one was paying attention, a Russian ship exploring Antarctica claims it has found oil and gas deposits that are ten times larger than the North Sea. Presumably quite a lot of countries would find this very interesting. At the moment Antarctica is supposedly protected by a piece of paper, but those who want to keep something so valuable to themselves will be needing more than cellulose.

It could take some fossil fuels to protect these fossil fuels

Hard to see any nation keeping control of this oil and gas field using sailing boats, solar powered ships and missiles running on palm oil.

Russia finds vast oil and gas reserves in British Antarctic territory

Johnathon Leake, Telegraph

Russia has found vast oil and gas reserves in the Antarctic, much of it in areas claimed by the UK.

The surveys are a prelude to bringing in drilling rigs to exploit the pristine region for fossil fuels, MPs have warned.

Reserves totalling 511bn barrels of oil – about 10 times the North Sea’s entire 50-year output – have been reported to Moscow by Russian research ships, according to evidence given to the Commons Environment Audit Committee (EAC) last week.

It follows a series of surveys by the Alexander Karpinsky vessel, operated by Rosgeo – the Russian agency charged with finding mineral reserves for commercial exploitation.

The total extracted from the North sea up until 2014 was about 42 billion barrels of “oil equivalent”.  Green fanatics would be horrified to think of all the emissions that might be unleashed, but 3 billion cold people in China, Russia, India and Japan might have a different view.

It’s hard to believe no one has staked a claim on Marie Byrd Land. We’re they just too busy to attend the meeting?

Antarctica, territorial claims
Russia claims that its boat was just doing scientific research (just like those Japanese whalers were).

At least a part of the UK government apparently found out about this when a South African newspaper published a story on it. (Who needs intelligence when you can read the Daily Maverick?)

The EAC [Environment Audit Committee] decided to challenge the Foreign Office’s management of the UK’s Antarctic interests following reports in the Daily Maverick, a South African online journal, which discovered Moscow’s activities after its survey ship docked in Cape Town.

The British government has officially said they believe the Russians, but a few in the British government are skeptical. (From the Daily Maverick)

[Anna McMorrin, a Labour MP on the polar audit sub-committee] asked FCDO Under-Secretary David Rutley…  if he was “aware” of the Rosgeo vessels, under US sanctions since February, and how the UK was to respond at the annual Antarctic Treaty consultative meeting (ATCM) in India from May 20 to 30.

The under-secretary defended Russia’s “repeated assurances” at ATCMs “that these activities are for scientific purposes”.

A sceptical McMorrin asked Rutley if he was “content to believe Russia when they say they’re just undertaking scientific action”. The Labour MP also quoted expert testimony to the committee, stressing that leading polar geopolitician Professor Klaus Dodds had flagged the “current Russian activity” and its possible “prospecting” links as “troubling”.

“There is a worry that Russia is collecting seismic data that could be construed to be prospecting rather than scientific research. And, if such, does this signal a potential threat to the permanent ban on mining,” asked Dodds, of Royal Holloway, University of London, “with knock-on implications for the integrity of the protocol in its entirety?”

Suddenly people might start paying attention to Antarctica.

hat tip to @TomNelson and @NetZeroWatch

______________________________________

For the record, the  dispute between the UK and Argentina goes back a long way.

Photo: LA(Phot) Ian Simpson  of the HMS Portland in South Georgia in 2010 on Wikimedia

 

 

10 out of 10 based on 77 ratings

75 comments to Russia discovers oil and gas reserves in Antarctica — ten times bigger than North Sea

  • #
    David Maddison

    Countries like Russia and China are not going to let this resource go to waste.

    Woke globalist countries like Australia will relinquish their massive territorial claims to Antarctica and remain silent when the Russians and Chicomms move in to take resources – and without any environmental concerns whatsoever, unlike if a Western country were to mine or extract oil there.

    361

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    What we need is enhanced, rampant global Warming to get rid of all that pesky ice down there.

    Oils ain’t oils and gas ain’t gas until it’s in a barrel and headed north.

    230

  • #
    BriantheEngineer

    Oz Government drives up energy production costs then raises taxes to subsidise it.

    310

  • #

    Back to the Abiotic question. Dino got cold?

    142

  • #
    Ronin

    And there’s coal there too.

    120

    • #
      Graeme#4

      I believe substantial coalfields exist under the Pacific Ocean.

      60

      • #
        Dennis

        A miner who worked all of life at an under ocean coal mine off Newcastle NSW told me that the mine was closed because the coal seam was too far away from shore for people to reach it and return in one shift and to bring the mined coal back for processing.

        However there was no doubt that the coal seam was far from worked out.

        100

    • #
      CO2 Lover

      Coal was first found in Antarctica by a British expedition in 1907

      40

  • #
    Penguinite

    Australia can’t defend its own Island Nation from an invasion so we’ve got no chance of protecting our slice of Antarctica.

    280

    • #
      KP

      Norway would struggle with that enormous chunk they’ve claimed too, its a long way from home! Maybe that’s where the last of the non-Muslim Norwegians will go to live.

      141

    • #
      Rusty of Qld

      Penguinite, correction mate we are not a nation but a land of tribes,just look at the flag poles which flag represents your tribe? You have to be of a certain tribe if you are to be able access vast areas of this land of tribes.

      160

    • #
      Chad

      and WHY has Australia “claimed” such a large slice of the pie ?
      How did this carving up of the loot come about ?….first come, first served ?
      And where is the “First Nations” claim ?

      60

      • #
        Ted1.

        Claimed on our behalf by one mighty man, Douglas Mawson, who survived and completed the expedition in which his fellow explorers all died.

        80

    • #
      James

      Why would you want to invade it militarily? Just buy it and populate it with your young via student visas! Easy Peasy!

      90

    • #
      Dennis

      That’s right however we have powerful allies and defence agreements with them.

      The latest is AUKUS of course – Australia, United Kingdom, United States – and revival of the Quad – India, Japan, United States, Australia, both President Trump and Prime Minister Morrison initiatives from 2019 discussions after the state dinner in Washington for PM Morrison.

      Obviously New Zealand and Canada are allies and are part of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance group.

      Other countries included are France and Germany and they participate in Asia Pacific Region patrolling and military exercises, not long ago Germany sent fighter jets with fuel tanker escorts via Singapore to exercises in Australia. Singapore Air Force and Army maintain training areas in Australia and aircraft stationed here for security as well.

      The key is combined forces defence deterrent.

      40

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Dennis, “combined forces defence deterrent”? I suspect all that means nothing.

        1. USA is an undependable ally (withholds armaments when an ally needs them most – cf, Israel and to a lesser extent Ukraine). All talk and little long-term stickability eg: it let Afghanistan sink rapidly to the Taliban – so much for the $US billions that went into training the Afghan armed forces which capitulated within days of the USA’s panicked retreat.

        2. Japan is prevented by its American imposed constitution from having anything but a defensive armed force – so it’s no help.

        3. NZ bludges on everybody else and couldn’t raise enough troops to run a chook raffle. Besides it is already in the China camp.

        4. France is much like the USA. Fair weather allies. For example it refused to provide already paid for Mirage fighter jets to Israel when it needed them most in the 6 day war – preferring to weaken Israel and support Israel’s Arad enemies.
        They might send a contingent of the Foreign Legion – but that’s problematique given many of the FFL troops are of Russian origin.

        5. Germany is equally under resourced from a military point of view. It’s run by socialists and they will stand aside before confronting comrade China or Russia. They’ve been Merkeled.

        6. Australia. Say no more. It’s 4,300 troops short of its planned numbers. Even at full strength it couldn’t fight its way out of any involvement without at least a doubling of current troop number and tripling its budget – which the lily-livered Labor government, led by the Trotskyite Albanese will never address. Besides, he’s a Sinophile, like most of the Labor Party.

        7. LOL – Canada? That’s the best call yet.

        70

  • #
    Neville

    I’ve long thought that the French claim should be challenged and leave the Aussies with a clean sweep of that large section.
    I know it seems greedy and I suppose we’ve a certainty of a Chinese or Russian etc challenge anyway and I can’t see our solar powered boats chasing their Nuclear powered ships and subs out of the area.
    But it’s all a lost cause for Australia unless we have a radical shift in our thinking. SOB.

    160

    • #
      el+gordo

      We could do a swap with France, Christmas island for example.

      51

    • #
      Dennis

      That does add to the acquisition of firstly three US Virginia Class operational now nuclear submarines and RAN crew training on board US and UK nuclear submarines.

      And the future AUKUS new generation nuclear submarine project for all three partner navies. Albanese Labor signed a contract and forward order schedule for Rolls-Royce SMRs in February 2024. Rolls-Royce have supplied UK nuclear submarine SMRs for over 60 years. And licensed by the United States where SMR technology spans over 75 years.

      I understand eight AUKUS nuclear submarines are planned for the RAN

      60

  • #
    ianl

    Russia claims that its boat was just doing scientific research

    Well, it was – and still is. Geoscientific exploration is valid research. The greenies want geoscientists permanently locked up in deepest dungeons though, because they might find something. When planes with remote sensing apparatus (magnetic, gravitational, even topographical) fly over Kakadu the sensors are required to be turned off … and of course they are, aren’t they ?

    140

    • #
      Ted1.

      Visited Kakadu a couple of weeks back, and it’s well worth the effort to get there and do a dawn cruise on a barge in the wetlands. The half dozen or so crocodiles that we saw were about 2 m to 2.5 m long, and not very active.

      I am very deaf, so hear a lot of things wrong, but I understood the pilot of the plane to say if you want uranium up there, just get a pick and shovel, scrape the exposed top layer off anywhere and you’ve got it.

      And I thought I heard the guide say there’s only one breed of crocodiles. The big ones don’t go in the fresh water so much. (Don’t put money on that).

      40

      • #
        Bruce

        Crocodiles?

        The “big ones”, (Crocodylus Porosis) go where they damn-well want. Calling them “saltwater” crocs is foolish, at best. There is / was? a “stuffed” example in the Darwin museum. Name of “Sweetheart”. TWENTY THREE feet long. Apparently hated the sound of outboard boat motor and would “snap” at them. Eventually tangled in a net and drowned, the exhibit is / was quite impressive and a popular “prop” in many family “happy-snaps”.

        The other “flavour” of snapping handbag they have, Crocodylus Johnstoni, is generally somewhat smaller. It is also basically a “fish-eater”, hence the fine, sharp-pointed teeth. Unlikely to be grabbing the snout of your horse when you stop for a drink at the billabong, unlike a Porosis. Neither species is a suitable domestic pet.

        00

  • #
    Tel

    Russia is unlikely to start mining in Antarctica … it’s the other side of the world from their homeland and they wouldn’t be able to ship anything out of there.

    Russia already has plenty of oil and gas, so more likely they are just getting a general idea of how much extra is out there. Let’s suppose Russia commits their exports of oil and gas only to China (not impossible) and also China gets most of Iran’s exports and a fraction of the Saudi exports. Suddenly those deposits in the South start to matter.

    Given that the world is turning multipolar anyhow, I reckon they are doing a few calculations to figure out how effective it would be to attempt a corner on world oil supply.

    90

  • #
    John

    That also means that at some time in the distant past the area was warm enough to sustain the vegetation that since then has converted into coal and oil.

    100

  • #
    Neville

    Another intelligent, fact based study about the value of co2 and why our atmosphere has co2 levels that are nearly SATURATED from the co2 warming effect.
    Thanks again to real, genuine Scientists like Dr Lindzen, Dr Happer and Dr Koonin for trying to enlighten our pollie donkeys, stupid scientists, bankers, MSM etc.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/13/fossil-fuels-and-greenhouse-gases-climate-science/

    80

  • #
    Diego

    Just think of the impact on the polar bears.

    80

  • #
    CO2 Lover

    The Russians will have to negotiate with the First Nations Peoples of Antarctica – the Penguins.

    The eighteen Peguin Nations are Emperor, King, Royal, Adelie, Macaroni, Gentoo, Galapagos, Magellanic, Humboldt, African, Snares, Fiordland, Little Blue, Yellow Eye, Erect Crested, Northern Rockhopper, Southern Rockhopper, and Chinstrap.

    121

  • #
    David Maddison

    There is no question in my mind that an Australian Uniparty Government will give away Australia’s territorial claim to Antarctica, just as we gave away the Timor Gap or how Howard gave away much of our gas supply to the Chicomms.

    100

    • #
      Penguinite

      Who knows? In another 600 million years all the lands may reunite and be one again. Unless, Planet Earth submits to The Sun’s gravitational pull first. In the meantime, arguments and wars will rage and as always “might will be right”.

      60

  • #
    Honk R Smith

    My uncle Arctica also has lots of gas.

    70

  • #
    Tony Tea

    Wasn’t it already known that there are resources galore down there?

    50

    • #
      Chad

      Yep !…one of life’s essentials ….. huge amount of (solid) fresh water !

      Random thought ?….
      We know how to convert heat, light, and Wind, into electricity,….
      ….but does anyone know if we can convert COLD into electrical energy ??🤔👍
      If so , lets hang on to our chunk of ice down there,…it may come in useful !

      20

    • #

      Certainly I heard that there was oil – lots and lots of oil – off the Falklands in about 1981 … not sure the Whitehall’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office got the memo until after the Argentine invaded, in 1982.
      But there you go.

      Auto

      00

  • #
    Hanrahan

    “10 times greater than the North Sea” and they haven’t drilled a hole yet.

    Many a slip twist cup and lip.

    21

  • #
    Stuart

    It was always going to become an issue, Antarctica will be a major source of untapped resources in the future. Everyone knows stuff is there, they are just waiting for the first ones to ignore the treaty, Russia, China, Japan and the US all have bases but no legal claims to any land. Once the mining starts the treaty will end and it will be a free for all.

    20

  • #
    TdeF

    What’s the difference between Antarctica and Australia if our government decides to keep all coal, oil and gas in the ground?

    Australia is utterly dependent on the income from coal, oil, gas and iron ore. And trying to shut down all industry across the country with the Safeguard Mechanism and making energy too expensive to be used for manufacturing or smelting. And it is nothing to do with saving the planet. It’s about saving Australian resources for Communist China. And former Victorian dictator Daniel Andrews is now working directly for Communist China. But that’s no real change.

    150

    • #
      David Maddison

      DH Dan is being well rewarded for his subservience to China and giving them billions of dollars worth of overpriced projects as well as signing the state up to Belt and Road which he had no legal authority to do. Initially the clueless foreign minister Marise Payne said it was beyond her control but later even the Feds realised states can’t enter into foreign treaties.

      40

      • #
        TdeF

        Federations are only about eliminating inter state customs, common defence, common currency and common trade interests.

        They are not about health, education, roads, minerals (unless off shore), police or anything else. Which is why Roe vs Wade was illegal in the US. The Supreme Court ruled the Feds had no such power over a health issue, unless of course ceded by the States.

        This fake issue of Climate Change has been used to get rid of state mineral based electricity and so legally consolidate all electrical power in the hands of the Canberra public servants. And Canberra is now twice the size.

        Amazingly the states have been willing to blow up their own zero cost power stations, which is incredible. Despite working perfectly well and being endlessly maintainable. And all the infrastructure. Especially in manufacturing states like Victoria which totally depended on cheap coal power for manufacturing which is essentially what manufacturing is and the only advantage Victoria had.

        And Victorians are not even allowed to export their coal, unlike other states. With the 66% water removed, brown coal has the same calorific contents as thermal black coal! But is is forbidden. As The Age newspaper said in daily headlines, it made coal ‘blacker’. And black is synonymous with ‘dirty’. So coal is ‘dirty’. Gas also, even though it’s invisible. Brown coal is called the ‘dirtiest’ fuel, without any scientific basis.

        As for vast ready to use Gippsland gas, it’s as if it didn’t exist. No one mentions it. They all talk about building LPG importing terminals, say at Geelong. Which is odd as it is totally unnecessary. We are not allowed use our own gas but we can import it? We are not allowed use our own coal but we can sell it? And we are not supposed to smelt metals but can sell them unprocessed, say Iron ore?

        When did Australia become the silly, ignorant, science free country?

        Our approach to Antarctica will be identical. Keep it in the ground. Which is insane.

        120

      • #
        Jon Rattin

        From CBD column published 13/5/24 in The Age (behind paywall). I’ll put in a couple of quotes.
        The co-authors reveal that Dan Andrews has taken up a role with Twiggy Forrest to “sell 100 million tonnes of “green” iron to China (via consultancy group Forty Eight and Partners)”. They also stated “Andrews was never able to shake that “chairman Dan” moniker used by unkind souls over both his hardline on health during the pandemic and his enthusiasm for closer links with China”.

        I reckon a few readers of this blog will consider themselves “unkind souls”. As l am a resident of Vicdanistan, reading these kind of comments just pushes my blood closer to boiling point

        40

        • #
          Skepticynic

          chairman Dan

          chairman Dan?

          I thought it was Stairman Dan.

          40

          • #
            Jon Rattin

            The label of Stairman Dan could be justifiably applied to said individual in my book. However, the label just reflects the post-pandemic revolving doors roll out of appointments granted to people who willingly participated in the narrated program.

            10

    • #
      paul courtney

      Mr. deF: The main difference I see is, if Russians set up drilling on Antarctic coast, AU won’t be able to defend its interests. If the Russians set up drilling on AU mainland, AU still won’t defend its interests, but the CCP would!

      00

  • #
    Dennis

    Albanese Labor have admitted that natural gas and increased supplies will be needed through to 2050.

    But they were determined to stop extraction of gas before now.

    90

  • #
    John B

    I thought the Russians would have plenty of their Arctic territory to explore for cheaper petroleum rather than the expense of producing Antarctic deposits.

    50

    • #
      Hanrahan

      If Peter Zeihan is to be believed they don’t have the home grown expertise needed to extract it, they need Halliburton, Exxon, BP, Shell et al to do that. Part of the reason the war they started will be so painful for so long.

      00

  • #
    Philip

    This whole thing is shattering my flat earth theory

    20

  • #
    RealWorld

    It would be quite poetic in a way – the crazy west refuse to use oil so China and Russia take it all and live happily ever after.

    10

  • #
    exsteelworker

    And in other news…..Killer whale gang sinks another yacht off Gibraltar coast amid fears of summer of attacks
    There’s growing concerns around an increase in orca ‘gang attacks’ on yachts and boats — with a recent vessel sinking baffling experts……the cause couldn’t be the 1000s of bird shredding windmills covering the Orcas habitat could it? Surely not, otherwise Greenpeace would be up in arms..cough.

    30

  • #
    Wayne K

    Just how did the Russians discover any oil or determine anything that could be classified as reserves without drilling?

    Perhaps they sniffed the air for hydrocarbons? Maybe they ran some seismic which, at best, could confirm a sedimentary basin with structural features that might trap hydrocarbons subject to source materials, migration pathway and a reservoir matrix with suitable permeability and porosity. These observations would be called leads, or drilling prospects at best with a potential hydrocarbon accumulations that cannot be classified as reserves. Gas can sometimes be identified as the fluid filling the rock matrix but seismic unlikely to differentiate between oil, water and even salt. Exploratory drilling is required before anything can be classified as an oil discovery or even assigned the lowest (riskiest) class of reserves.

    10

  • #
    dumbjaffa

    Off topic I know but,

    I wish somebody down at Antarctica would take a sub-vertical , long shutter star transit picture to show the arcs & shut the FLAT EARTHERS up!

    Is there a S Polar station?

    10

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