Preparing for Oil Spills in the Future Arctic

Within the next two decades, scientists estimate that the Arctic Ocean will be free of multi-year ice in the summer.

The thawing of Arctic Ocean ice during summer months will lead to increased maritime transportation and tourism. It will also lead to increased oil and gas exploration as access to Arctic sea floors grows easier—the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic may hold as much as 90,000 billion barrels of oil, 669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, with 84 percent in offshore locations.