Headline June 18th, 2012 / The Cold Battle for Arctic Oil

The Cold Battle 
Arctic Oil

Back in Moscow, the Russian Academy of Science's Geological Institute continued to analyze the samples that Sagalevich brought back from the floor of the Arctic Ocean. It soon became obvious that they didn't have the proof that the Lomonosov Ridge was a part of the Russian continental shelf.

''These probes were insufficient,'' the world was told,'' but Russia does have some scientific data in favour of this claim. The geological evidence that Lomonosov Ridge is part of the Russian continental shelf is not an easy question...

We can say that this is not just a ridge, but part of a whole system from Russia to Greenland and Canada......The Arctic is a shallow epicontinental sea on a continental base. Most of the bottom has more characteristics of earth crust than ocean floor. 

The Lomonosov ridge used to connect Russia, Canada, and Denmark 20 to 30 million years ago, but due to some process that we do not understand for the moment very well, this bridge collapsed at roughly the 30th meridian of north latitude, and sank to its present depth.''

But the fact is this that there is no maritime law in the Arctic. Until very recently -the deep ocean- more than 600 feet deep, which makes up 90 percent of the world's oceans, was considered as the high sea. Piracy was common. 

England got rich by preying on the Spanish galleons bringing bullion back from the New World. The coastal states' territorial sea extended only 3 nautical miles, until the law of the Sea Treaty extended it to 12 miles in 1982; the treaty also granted to its signatories 200 miles of their continental shelf as an E.E.Z -an exclusive economic zone-. Russia applied for an extension of its shelf in 2001- claiming the same shelf area that it is preparing to reclaim. 

John Bellinger, the State Dept's Chief Legal Counsel, who was spearheading Secretary Rice's push to get UNCLOS ratified in the Senate, found the conservative congressmen it were laboring under two misconceptions.

The first was the notion that the characterization of the high seas, the part of the ocean that is beyond anyone's extended continental shelf, as ''the common heritage of mankind'', came from Elisabeth Mann Borgese, a Canadian Socialist and alleged admirer of Karl Marx. Although she was one of UNCLOS's main original supporters, the phrase actually came from a speech by President Nixon, who declared on may 23, 1970, ''I am today proposing that all nations adopt as soon as possible a treaty under which they would renounce all national claims over the natural resources of the seabed beyond the point where the high seas reach a depth of 200 meters, and would agree to regard these resources as the common heritage of mankind.''

So dear readers, don't miss the following post as we unveil the iceberg! Haha! 

Good Night And God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - The Voice Of The Voiceless


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