There actually aren’t any oil rigs in the Arctic Circle according to this article. It is believed that there are large quantities of oil in the Arctic, but it is extremely difficult to get to for a variety of reasons. First of all, the conditions are extremely harsh and it is unknown whether even the strongest oil rig can survive these conditions. Another major problem is the fact that the rules are unclear as to which countries actually have the rights to drill for oil there. Pretty much every other place on earth is technically the rights of one or a few countries, but no such treaty exists about the arctic.
There are in fact many wells north of the Arctic Circle. Most but not all are on land.
The article cited does not really say there is no drilling north of the Arctic Circle. There is little drilling in the Arctic Ocean, but there is a great deal of drilling on land north of the Arctic Circle. All of Alaska’s North Slope oil, including Prudhoe Bay, is north of the Arctic Circle. There is even some drilling just offshore, based on ice islands. There is production in Canada’s Mackenzie Delta region, and some of the largest gas fields on earth are in the northern West Siberian Basin, both north of the Arctic Circle. There are discoveries (mostly gas) in the Barents Sea and there are oil fields in the Timan-Pechora Basin of Russia east of the Urals that are north of the Arctic Circle.
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