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The future of Arctic gas development is hard to predict. On one side the Arctic is expected to host around 22% of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and gas reserves. Out of these large part is natural gas.

However, gas is more difficult to transport and thus places higher demands to transportation networks, increasing costs and risks.

Possible sovereignty disputes over land and sea areas in the circumpolar North could delay the development of future off shore gas fields.

Regional examples from the Barents region, where a long-lasting delimitation dispute between Russia and Norway was settled by a treaty in 2011, show how important these political and legal aspects in the development of any future gas potential of the Arctic are.

Immediately after the treaty entering into force 7th of July 2011, the Norwegian side started prospecting for oil and gas.

One of the major challenges is the vulnerable Arctic environment and the indigenous peoples of the Arctic that put high demands to any oil or gas related development in the region.

High costs due to high environmental protection demands could delay or even halt a further development of Arctic gas when compared to costs / benefit calculations in other regions. However, a growing global demand for energy and challenges with energy security e.g. in the Middle East region can give additional momentum to develop Arctic gas despite the named "challenges".

Sources: UArctic Energy Information Administration UArctic

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