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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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How Russia Saved This Oil Platform From A Titanic Disaster

Iceberg

Rosneft endeavored to move an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean weighing over 1 million tons in order to prevent it from crashing into an oil platform, according to a new report by Reuters.

The iceberg’s tonnage is double that of the famed floating ice chunk that sunk the Titanic in 1912.

To effectively tow the ice, experts use echo feedback to measure the depth of the iceberg and then use the information to adequately equip ships that will eventually move the huge block of frozen water.

The Arctic is one of the last frontiers of natural resource discovery, and underneath the tundra and ice are vast amounts of undiscovered oil, natural gas, and minerals, the economics blog Zero Hedge said last year. That’s why there is a high-stakes race for Arctic domination between countries such as the United States, Norway, Russia, Denmark, and Canada.

In terms of oil, it’s estimated that the Arctic has 90 billion barrels of oil that is yet to be discovered. That’s equal to 5.9 percent of the world’s known oil reserves – about 110 percent of Russia’s current oil reserves, or 339 percent of U.S. reserves.

Icebergs that break off from West Antarctica often stick close to the coast, but can also find their way into open waters, close to South America’s Cape Horn, which poses a problem for shipping companies. A few years ago, Grant Bigg, and ocean modeler at the University of Sheffield, said that strong winds blowing off Antarctica helped to push a giant iceberg away from land after warmer weather and water in the Southern Hemisphere worked to melt the winter ice sheet that had been helping to hold it in place.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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