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Thread: Denmark to Claim North Pole, Hopes to Find Oil

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    Denmark to Claim North Pole, Hopes to Find Oil

    Denmark to Claim North Pole, Hopes to Find Oil

    Oct. 4, 2004 — COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark aims to show the North Pole belongs to it and is sending an expedition to try to prove that the seabed there is a natural continuation of Danish territory, the Science Ministry said on Monday.

    The key to Denmark's claim is Greenland, the world's largest island and a Danish territory, whose northern tip lies just 450 miles south of the North Pole.

    The expedition will try to show that the ocean floor from northern Greenland to the North Pole is geologically a natural extension of Danish territory.

    Science Minister Helge Sander said last week that success would give Denmark access to "new resources such as oil and natural gas." The potential return far outweighs the $25 million the Danish government has allocated to support the investigation.

    The Danish bid rests on a U.N. convention allowing coastal nations to claim rights to offshore seabed resources. Countries that ratify it have 10 years to prove they have a fair claim to the offshore territory and its resources.

    "First we have to make the scientific claim. After that there will be a political process with the other countries," said Science Ministry official Thorburnkild Meedom. The ministry has called it "a project of historic dimensions."

    Other claimants to the area, including the pole itself, include Russia, Canada and Norway, and the United States may make a claim.

    The area in question covers three patches of seabed around Greenland and two around the Faroe Islands. Greenland and the Faroe Islands have limited home rule under Danish sovereignty.

    Denmark's interest in looking into untapped reserves has grown sharply since it was forced to look on as Nordic neighbor Norway discovered massive oil reserves just within its offshore borders shortly after these were drawn in the North Sea.

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    I´d say go ahead and take that North Pole. I wish both Sweden and Denmark could take part in the income oil has given Norway.
    But my thoughts on the case, though fraternal enough, are probably shared by neither government nor the public in general.

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