Arctic oil hunt impossible with materials available today

A new study shows that extreme temperatures make it impossible to drill for oil in the Arctic with the materials available today. The current oil price and fragile materials will put developments in the region on hold for now, senior researcher tells ShippingWatch.

Photo: Christian Florian / DMI

Several oil industry players have been preparing for years to start hunting resources hidden in the far North in Arctic waters. But these ventures could be fatal if the oil companies decide to use the same materials currently being used in the North Sea in, for instance, the Barents Sea north of Norway, according to a new study performed by independent research company Sintef, whose research areas cover oil, gas, the climate and the environment.

In cooperation with as many as 20 oil and gas industry players, including Statoil and DNV, and with support from the Research Council of Norway, senior researcher Odd M. Akselsen of Sintef has studied the durability of the companies' materials by subjecting them to various tests. And the conclusion is clear:

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