Shrinking sea ice and increasing appreciation of the region’s huge energy potential will drive growth in offshore and marine activities in the Arctic over the next decade. The extent of that activity is, however, likely to be dictated by market conditions.
New routes for the transportation of goods from Europe to Asia, utilising the North-east Passage along Russia’s northern coastline, will be explored and exploited, while rising global energy demand will heighten focus on the Arctic’s substantial hydrocarbon reserves.
Global economic factors impact upon the viability of those reserves , but their very existence creates industry impetus, with a growing focus on developing innovative technology for safe and sustainable Arctic operations.
Wherever there is industrial activity, there is also risk – and nowhere more so than in the Arctic. In some parts, the harsh environment increases the likelihood of accidents and, given the pristine state of many of the region’s ecosystems, any consequences could be significant. There are also ethical dilemmas to consider. These include the need to mitigate climate change versus the need for energy, environmental risk versus business risk, and the needs of the Arctic’s inhabitants alongside those of the rest of the world.
DNV GL is committed to utilising its 150 years of experience in harsh climates to provide insights, solutions and a fact-based perspective with regard to new developments in this exciting frontier region.