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The Arctic land grab underway as the region opens up

A region rich in oil and gas has many suitors, each with rival claims to the icy north

The Arctic ice cap is melting, and as it does, potentially vast riches below are being uncovered. Shipping lanes once too icy to navigate are opening and could reshape global trade. Newly accessible waters are drawing hardy trawlers and their fishermen. Cruise ships now take well-heeled tourists into the once isolated frontier. But it is the Arctic's oil and gas potential that has spurred the Arctic littoral states to press their claims to the region. The Arctic may hold around a quarter of the world's untapped oil and gas deposits: 80 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2008 US Geological Survey study. Most of those oil- and gasfields are



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