4 major challenges of Arctic drilling

The oil companies are no longer getting good oil production from the accessible energy sources. Due to the demand for gas and oil and the increased competition, these companies are moving towards remote locations to search for oil and gas. The Arctic region is thought to be a very prospective place for digging oil. According to a US Geological Survey, it is estimated that the Arctic has about 90 billion barrels of oil. This is equivalent to 13% of the undiscovered oil reserves of the world. Thousands of trillion cubic feet of natural gas is also present. However, there are lots of challenges for drilling in this region.

1. Weather

The weather can go below 200C in summer. The wind is very strong and it can be very difficult to work in this harsh weather condition. In winter, it is almost impossible to work.

2. Difficulty in extracting oil

The summer lasts for a short time. During the winter you get very little daylight time to work. So, it is best to complete the drilling process before the summer ends. This can become impossible most of the times. So, the oil lies beneath the ice in frozen form. Oil companies have to wait till the next summer to dig it up.

3. Cleaning up is complicated

Due to lack of infrastructure in the remote locations, it can be very difficult to clean up everything before summer. So, the residues and emissions can get trapped under the ice which might cause devastating results to the ecosystem.

4. Getting permission is difficult

It is very difficult to get the license for drilling projects in the Arctic region. There are very strict regulations and lots of capital is required. So, many companies cannot afford to gather up this large sum of capital to invest.

The oil companies must find out ways to overcome these challenges. Better equipment must be invented so that drilling operations can be done faster on ice. Great opportunities lie out there and the oil companies must extract oil and gas from those places before the place becomes too crowded due to competitors.