BP and other oil giants are accused of destroying

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BP and other oil giants are accused of "enclosure" in the Arctic or damaging the polar environment

the complicated battle for Arctic oil and gas resources is heating up again

in January 2011, the news that Rosneft and BP will jointly develop Russia's oil and gas blocks in the Arctic continent attracted attention from all walks of life

as part of the strategic alliance, Rosneft and BP will sign a share exchange agreement, and BP will exchange 5% shares with 9.5% shares of Rosneft. According to BP's market value estimate, the value of the shares BP will issue to Rosneft is about $7.8 billion

however, there are still variables in this resolution. On January 29, AAR, the Russian shareholder representative of BP's joint venture TNK-BP in Russia, opposed the share exchange agreement between BP and Rosneft. People from AAR said that the cooperation between BP and Rosneft violated the shareholders' agreement between AAR and BP, which stipulated that BP would need to consult its alliance partners for consent before any new agreement in Russia

"there may be adjustments to local agreements, but BP will stick to the big strategy." A Chinese oil expert told Caijing state weekly, "BP has technical advantages in offshore oil and gas development, which is also what Russia needs."

After the Gulf of Mexico accident, BP began to turn to the strategic planning of the Arctic. Feng Yuewei, a researcher at the China Petroleum Fund forum, believes that BP suffered a big fall in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the company's annual profits were seriously reduced under huge fines and compensation. Under the pressure of the U.S. government and environmentalists, it is unlikely that BP will make another big gain in the Gulf of Mexico in the short term

"if BP wants to find a new oil and gas reserve connection area and a profit growth point that can attract investors' interest, it must expand its global business and explore new businesses in areas that others can't do. Russia is a good choice. On the one hand, BP does have strong technical advantages in offshore oil and gas development, and it has successfully cooperated with Russian oil and gas companies a long time ago." Feng Yuewei further said

the total area of the cooperative mining area between BP and Rosneft is about 125000 square kilometers, which is located in the Arctic Circle north of 70 ° north latitude. In 2010, Rosneft obtained the development license of the above block. BP announced that this area has great exploration prospects. "This area is comparable to the British North Sea in terms of area and exploration prospects."

some environmentalists pointed out that with the fierce competition for oil and gas resources in the Arctic Circle, the risk of environmental pollution faced by the region is also gradually increasing. Driven by economic interests, once there is an oil spill similar to BP in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic region will face catastrophic environmental damage

whose backyard

however, the practice of BP and Rosneft has been "supported" by the Russian government. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that the government supports the transaction between the two companies and will provide preferential conditions for the two companies to jointly develop the Arctic continental shelf in terms of taxes and so on. Rosneft announced that it is expected to start drilling operations in the cooperative block in 2015, and more multinational oil companies will be introduced to cooperate in the exploitation of Arctic oil and gas in the future

the establishment of the strategic alliance between Russia and BP for Arctic oil and gas development has quickly aroused strong repercussions in the international community. In the face of Russia's first step in competing for Arctic oil and gas, the United States first expressed different views. Some US politicians claimed that the transaction might pose a threat to us security and asked relevant departments to investigate and analyze the transaction

"the international community does not have a clear legal definition of the land and resources in the Arctic region. The international community has great differences on who owns the sovereignty and how to allocate the resources. Russia, the United States, Canada and other countries adjacent to the Arctic have claimed sovereignty over the Arctic region." Zhufeng, a professor at the school of international relations at Peking University, told me

as early as 1907, Canada made a territorial claim to the Arctic. Since then, the new indicators of environmental protection and energy conservation have raised the threshold of the paper industry. In the past century, the international community has been heating up the competition for the Arctic. The United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark and Norway are the most active countries along the Arctic Ocean, and the Arctic region is regarded as the "backyard" by them. Many countries compete to recognize that the draft standard has the same technical level as the international standard, and declare sovereignty and occupy resources in various ways

in 2007, the competition for the Arctic reached a small climax. On August 2 of that year, with the joint efforts of all parties in the field of aeronautical materials, the Russian scientific research team took a deep-sea submersible and inserted a one meter high special Russian flag at the bottom of the deep-sea seabed 4261 meters below the Arctic Ocean north pole; Four days later, the United States anchored a heavy icebreaker in Seattle port and set sail for the Arctic Ocean "scientific research"; On August 12, Denmark also sent a scientific research team to the Arctic Ocean

"the Arctic region has strong geostrategic significance, is a very important waterway and is rich in resources. In the Arctic competition, countries along the Arctic Ocean have great advantages in geography and resource occupation. Due to the lack of relevant international law, it is difficult for other countries to find definite reasons to stop their enclosure." Zhu Feng said

geologists generally agree that the Arctic region is rich in oil and gas resources. A more optimistic estimate believes that the potential exploitable natural gas reserves in the Arctic are close to 80 trillion cubic meters, equivalent to 45% of the global natural gas reserves; The potential recoverable crude oil reserves are between 100 and 200 billion barrels. As the global oil and gas resources are increasingly exploited, the battle for the Arctic will become more intense

China's chances are slim

in this battle for Arctic oil and gas resources, China has always been like an "outsider"

according to the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea, the Arctic Ocean is an ocean beyond the waters under the jurisdiction of coastal States, and it is the high seas that do not belong to any country. The seabed of the high seas is the "international seabed area", and its resources belong to the "common heritage of mankind". Both coastal and landlocked countries enjoy the rights to the "international seabed area" and resources, and China is one of the States parties to the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea

according to another international treaty on the Arctic (the Spitsbergen islands treaty, which entered into force in 1925), the Arctic region cannot be used for war purposes, and nationals of the Contracting States have the right to enter freely and engage in marine, industrial, mining, commercial and other activities on an equal basis in compliance with local laws. China is also one of the 41 states parties, and it also enjoys relevant rights and interests

however, at present, these so-called rights and interests are unrealistic for China to realize. Even in the oil and gas resources that will soon enter the substantive development stage, it is difficult for China to find an entry point to share interests

"so far, the Chinese government has not come up with a clear policy and attitude." Zhu Feng told me. Although it is difficult for China to realistically share the benefits of Arctic oil and gas development, it may be one of the potential victims of this feast. The development of Arctic oil and gas resources will inevitably damage the environment to a certain extent, and if environmental protection is not done in place, the consequences will be disastrous

"Arctic oil and gas development is very difficult. We should not only have the technology of deep-sea oil and gas development, but also withstand the test of low temperature and extreme cold conditions. China's oil enterprises are not qualified in technical reserves and equipment development, and the backwardness of the core technology of offshore oil and gas development is the key problem. Chinese enterprises can at most have some opportunities for labor export and export of low-end equipment." Feng Yuewei said

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