Is there oil below Antarctica?

8 Answers

  • paul h
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most likely, yes....huge amounts by some estimates as well as coal and natural gas deposits and some evidences of rain forests that existed there long ago. But it's less likely that any oil, gas or coal will be extracted due to costs and various international treaties.

    "Based on accessibility factors, the Antarctic area widely considered to hold the greatest potential for oil exploitation is the continental shelf.[66] One estimate postulates that fifty billion barrels of oil,[67] an amount roughly equivalent to Alaska's entire estimated reserves, lies under the Weddell and Ross Seas alone.[68] Other estimates by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' hydrometeorological service[69] and the Japanese Plan Antarctic Survey[70] give similar projections. One estimate goes so far as to put potential deposits as high as 203 billion barrels.[71] This is staggering in light of the fact that the total historic domestic United States production to date is under 200 billion barrels.[72] Additional studies have found heavy hydrocarbon[73] residues in the Antarctic areas of McMurdo Sound[74] and Bransfield Strait.[75] The real question thus becomes not whether oil deposits exist, but whether they will be found, and if discovered, whether they can be economically extracted.[76]

    A 1978 study by the Rand Corporation found that four to ten supergiant oil fields[77] remain undiscovered in the world.[78] Since Antarctica has been explored with much less sophistication than the rest of the earth's surface area,[79] and because its geologic characteristics suggest a strong possibility of hydrocarbon deposits,[80] there is a good chance that at least one supergiant oil field lies somewhere beneath the vast Antarctic terrain.[81]"

    "Drilling discovers ancient Antarctic rainforest"

    "The main mineral resource known on the continent is coal.[36] It was first recorded near the Beardmore Glacier by Frank Wild on the Nimrod Expedition, and now low-grade coal is known across many parts of the Transantarctic Mountains. The Prince Charles Mountains contain significant deposits of iron ore. The most valuable resources of Antarctica lie offshore, namely the oil and natural gas fields found in the Ross Sea in 1973. Exploitation of all mineral resources is banned until 2048 by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty".

  • valido
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Oil In Antarctica

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    Is there oil below Antarctica?

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  • 4 years ago

    There are much easier places to farm than Antarctica. The sorts of "pioneering" economic activity that later lead to larger-scale habitation are things like mining, fishing, and other forms of resource harvesting. These are all banned in Antarctica due to treaties. These would need to be altered first, and I would not expect that to occur. Greenland, however, is a different story. There's already a long-established population base that does some limited agriculture and is constantly trying to push the boundaries. As temperatures warm, glaciers recede, and new, cold-tolerant crop strains and farming techniques become more established, Greenland will experience orders of magnitude increase in domestic agricultural output and population.

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  • 7 years ago

    Antarctica is about the size of Australia so there is all but surely at least a tiny amount of oil. The mile thick ice likely makes it seriously costly to drill test wells except for a very small portion of Antarctica. Getting a permit to drill is likely very close to impossible. Much the same problem with Greenland. Neil

    • Gerald6 years agoReport

      Antarctica (5.4 million sq. miles) is closer to 2X the size of Australia (2.97 million sq. miles) So,...1 4/5 actually.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    nobody knows.. there's a ban on searching for oil or natural gas in Antarctica.

  • 6 years ago

    why do you think the British fight over folk land with Argentina . Because it is the gateway to the Antarctica oil .

  • 7 years ago

    Who knows? I imagine in some places there are and if we are really that desperate we might ask the penguins to dig some up for us

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