Communication of Findings

Release Of The Arctic Council Oil And Gas Assessment

The results of the Arctic Council Oil and Gas Assessment were released at the 2008 Arctic Frontiers Conference (Tromsø, Norway, 21-26 January 2008)

The scientific assessment of Oil and Gas in the Arctic - Effects and Potential Effects is built around five substantive chapters covering: oil and gas industry activities; socio-economic impacts; input and fate of hydrocarbons in the environment; toxicity and organism-level impacts, including impacts on human health; and ecosystem-level impacts. The lead scientists responsible for the assessment report presented their findings during the scientific part of the 2008 Arctic Frontiers Conference.

The key findings of the assessment, as summarized in the OGA overview report, were presented during the policy-related sessions of the 2008 Arctic Frontiers Conference. These findings are that:

  1. Extensive oil and gas activity has occurred in the Arctic, with much oil and gas produced and much remaining to be produced
  2. Natural seeps are [estimated to be] the major source of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination in the Arctic environment
  3. Petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations are generally low
  4. On land, physical disturbance is the largest effect
  5. In marine environments, oil spills are the largest threat
  6. Impacts on individuals, communities, and governments can be both positive and negative
  7. Human health can suffer [from oil and gas related] pollution and social disruption, but revenues can improve health care and overall well-being
  8. Technology and regulations can help reduce negative impacts
  9. Responding to major oil spills remains a challenge in remote, icy environments
  10. More oil and gas activity is expected
  11. Many risks remain
  12. Planning and monitoring can help reduce risks and impacts

The Arctic Council Oil and Gas Assessment was also presented at the following events:

  • Russia Offshore 2008, 3rd Annual meeting, Moscow, Russia (6-7 February 2008) (
  • Alaskan Forum on the Environment 2008, Anchorage, Alaska, USA (11-15 February 2008) (