US-Canada Arctic border central to exploiting maritime riches

Like a couple of cop cars in a parking lot sharing doughnuts

Canada and the United States are beginning a five-week joint Arctic survey, part of which will take place in a section of the energy-rich Beaufort Sea that is claimed by both countries.

The survey is intended to help the neighbours determine the extent of their continental shelves.

The bi-national study is part of an ongoing race by the Arctic nations – the US, Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark – to gather evidence to submit claims under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

It could grant them exploitation rights to potential energy and mineral wealth above and below the sea floor.

Currently, coastal nations can claim exploitation rights in an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – a 200-mile (322km) nautical area beyond their land territory.

If the Arctic nations can prove that their submerged territory extends beyond 200 miles, they could gain access to vast untapped resources which lie beneath the pristine waters of the polar region…

The most absurd crap rationale for exploitation and profit since the 19th Century.

Get ready for BP Alaska

The US claimed its 200-mile zone in 1976; Canada in 1977.

But the roots of Canada’s claim are historical – based on an 1825 treaty between Russia and Great Britain, the countries which possessed Alaska and Canada in the 19th century.

Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867 while Great Britain handed its Canadian possessions to Canada when it became an independent country…

According to figures made available to the BBC by Canada’s National Energy Board, the seabed below the disputed area is eye-wateringly resource-rich, containing a potential 1.7bn cubic metres of gas – enough gas to supply Canada for 20 years – and over 1bn cubic metres of oil…

But before any further development can take place, the border question has to be resolved.

Anyone notice which of these nations has a history of greedy imperial armies, stationing troops over the planet to maintain political and economic power?

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