|Port of Prince Rupert|
The Port of Prince Rupert is the first major port on transoceanic cargo shipping lanes from Asia to North America. This places Prince Rupert in a highly strategic location with one of the deepest ice free ports in North America a full 1 to 3 days shorter shipping time from the major ports of the Asian Markets. The reason for that is really quite simple, the Pacific shipping lanes run from Asia to the southern coast of Alaska and then turn south.
|North American Rail|
|Canada / US Major Pipeline Networks|
|Nuclear Powered Ice Breaker Russia|
|Chinese Polar Ship Snow Dragon|
Just how comfortable are the Russians with the continued economic rise of the Chinese and what ramifications do they see for global security? More particularly how does this measure up in the Kremlin vis-a-vis Russian security and global influence? These questions will be weighed of course, but they will also be considered by the Russians in lieu of their vast resources in the Arctic. Naturally, the Russian Federation is working feverishly to solidify their claims in the Arctic from the Lomonosov Ridge to the Mendeleev Ridge, extensions of continental shelves... and according to the Russians, it would quite naturally be their continental shelf. The race to make strong claims to Arctic riches is well underway... but it's not a one sided affair, and there are many competing interests.
|Topographic features of the Arctic showing ridge features|
The Russians, quite naturally, say the extensions are theirs but Canada, Greenland, Denmark, and the United States all have their own interpretations. The stakes are considerable as some estimates indicate about 90 billion barrels of oil and 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas exist in the Arctic. Hence, every circumpolar nation is working hard to establish their claims. Above all other considerations, one thing is undeniably certain, when nearly a quarter of the remaining hydrocarbons on the planet exist in the Arctic, you can be sure the major powers will not sit on the sidelines.
|Map of Arctic Oil Reserves|
I have been spending more time in the Arctic establishing contacts to create what I call an alluvial influence zone that stretches from Alaska through Canada and on to Greenland, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland. It's my belief that what happens in the Arctic over the next few decades will have enormous importance to Canada. But here's a twist, I think it will be quite important to Alberta. I believe that because we are positioned as Canada's gateway to the Western Arctic. Our influence in the Arctic may become as important to our Province as the oilsands. The oilsands are vast, but they are also finite.
This won't happen overnight, but it will happen. It's also important to keep in mind that the Arctic, while holding vast hydrocarbon wealth, also has enormous resources of minerals, ore, and rare earth elements... not to mention diamonds. This is not limited to oil and gas, the vast array of Arctic resources is staggering.
Those who create the strong relationships in the Arctic will be in a position to prosper as Arctic economic development grows. As the easy to get resources are consumed, the harder to secure resources in the Arctic will become increasingly important. This is a lesson not lost on the circumpolar nations nor on companies like ExxonMobil who are in the Arctic laying the foundation for their strategies. Shell is already drilling in the Chukchi Sea with three wells going to above TD (total depth) during this drilling season. Those wells will be completed at the start of the next drilling season.
|Shell's Kulluk Drilling Rig in the Chukchi Sea|
I also recognize that we have to continue our work of laying the foundation for growth, which we are doing. In parallel, I am establishing relationships that will facilitate our ability to sell into a powerful expanding growth market with a uniquely positioned municipality on a number of levels. I see huge success for Devon and the best part is, the foundations have been built... this won't take long. I've been working on developing and expanding our Arctic relationships for a number of years now. I believe that we have a chance to carve out a role in the development of the Arctic by virtue of our position on the doorstep of Western Canada's Arctic Gateway and by virtue of being there way ahead of our neighbors. Where the Arctic has not even crossed the minds of our neighbors, I have been meeting with government officials from the NWT, Yukon, Alaska, Greenland, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and the United States.
One of the messages given to the meeting of the second Arctic Imperative Summit by President Grimsson of Iceland was not to ignore the Arctic. He said that over the last eight years the United States Government had sent a high level delegation to visit Iceland precisely zero times while the Chinese had been there six times in the same period. Just a few days before his arrival in Alaska, the Chinese Polar Class Ice Breaker Snow Dragon visited Iceland.
|Groat with Iceland's President Grimsson|
|Groat with Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell|
|Groat with Corporate and Municipal Leaders|