Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Prof to look at prospects for Antarctic oil and gas

ELDORADO COMPLEX: Speculation remains about what could lie beneath the ice of Antarctica
ELDORADO COMPLEX: Speculation remains about what could lie beneath the ice of Antarctica

The prospect of finding oil in Antarctica will be discussed at a free event in Aberdeen tomorrow.

Professor David Macdonald, from Aberdeen University’s school of geosciences, will examine the fact and fiction surrounding claims oil and gas reserves could exist in this area.

He will give an insight into the political, media and scientific viewpoints on the subject in his talk which takes place at 7pm in Waterstone’s Union Bridge branch as part of the university’s Cafe Scientifique series.

Prof Macdonald said: “There is a vast amount of misinformation surrounding the prospect of oil and gas reserves being found in Antarctica.

“The possibility of exploration in this area first came to the fore up to 70 years ago and was given further precedence in the media spotlight during the Falklands war, when there was speculation around areas of the Antarctica which fell adjacent to the Falkland Islands. In truth, we actually still know very little about Antarctica and what could lie beneath the ice. What is happening here is what I call the Eldorado complex: the idea that unknown lands will be a treasure trove of resources.

“We are perhaps as humans hard-wired to be optimistic and there is certainly a build up in public perception that there are vast oil resources hidden in this area of the world, but in actuality this location might be the least-prospective continent due to its geology.

“What we know at the moment suggests that any oil and gas would either be under kilometres of ice, or in areas of the continental shelf that are constantly scoured by giant icebergs. The task of uncovering the resources would be mammoth and unlikely to be economically viable.

“At the moment there is a ban on searching beneath the Antarctic for oil and gas under the international Antarctic Treaty.

“I suggest this political protection is all very well, but a hard, sober and rational economic view should also dictate that oil exploration in this area is not a wise option.”

The professor is said to be an expert on polar geology, having worked for the British Antarctic Survey for 14 years and completed seven Antarctic expeditions. He also worked for the Cambridge Arctic shelf programme for seven years, including expeditions to Svalbard and Siberia.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts