South Africa: Using Cape Town As a Launchpad, Russia Boasts of Supergiant Oil Fields in Antarctic Wilderness


As Antarctic Treaty nations release the new Paris Declaration, a brand-new climate manifesto, Daily Maverick can reveal this international investigation: Russia has combed the fragile Southern Ocean for oil and gas on a staggering scale after Antarctica's mining ban formally entered into force more than two decades ago.

A mammoth potential of 500 billion barrels in hydrocarbon "resources" -- the building blocks for oil and gas -- might be buried in supergiant oilfields beneath the Southern Ocean, the climate-threatened waters that wrap around Antarctica, according to Russian state entities.

Key points

There are 500 billion barrels of Southern Ocean oil and gas, says Russian geological exploration holding company Rosgeo.

These confounding claims were made from South Africa's Table Bay harbour, used by Russia over decades to reach Antarctica.

This week, treaty nations are considering marine protected areas in waters in which Russia does not appear to have stopped surveying for oil and gas since the mining ban entered into force in 1998.

Despite restrictions, and outlawing activities such as prospecting and extraction, this ban may be changed from 2048.

Geology crews aboard the polar vessel Akademik Alexander Karpinsky announced these reserves in a communiqué issued by Rosgeo, the Russian Federation's...

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.