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Extracting Oil, Gas and Public Money in the Arctic: Case studies from Russia and Canada

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) presented on “Extracting Oil, Gas and Public Money in the Arctic: Case studies from Russia and Canada” at the “Arctic Futures” conference in Brussels on October 15, 2014. The video of this presentation is available here.

What are the costs of Arctic oil, gas and gold, and who is paying them? Several studies have attempted to give a range of breakeven prices for extractives in the Arctic, but the extent of government support to exploration and development in the Arctic has been hard to define and compare between countries. IISD’s first-of-its-kind studies quantifying federal and some regional subsidies to oil and gas in Canada and Russia have provoked a lot of debate in both countries, which the research team have addressed through broader research approaches and modelling in its new case studies on individual Arctic projects: the Yamal LNG and Prirazlomnoye hydrocarbon developments in Russia and the Meadowbank gold mine in Canada. The case studies inform a discussion of social costs and benefits of the projects receiving government support in the Arctic, including at the community level. This work has created the basis for IISD’s frameworks for increasing transparency of such extractive projects, and ways forward towards more sustainable natural resource policies in the Arctic.

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