Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Recent geophysical and geological research in Antarctica related to the assessment of petroleum resources and potential environmental hazards to their development

January 1, 1990

During the 6-year negotiation of and adoption of the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources Activities on June 2, 1988, various countries have increased their attention to the possibility of exploitation of Antarctica's petroleum resources, which are covered by this treaty. However, there are no known petroleum resources in Antarctica, and scientific information is lacking to adequately assess any undiscovered resources or the possible environmental hazards to their development. Scientific research carried out in Antarctica since the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958) has provided a great deal of information on the geological framework of this ice-covered continent and its margin and has found general indications of the types of hazards that must be considered. Antarctica covers a vast area, and likely supergiant oil fields of the type to be exploited would be tiny (e.g., a few tens of kilometers across) in comparison. Any petroleum resources located in Antarctica will be found by applying the knowledge, techniques, and experience gained developing oil fields in other parts of the world and would, therefore, be other examples of general cases; in contrast, the Antarctic environment and its associated hazards must be considered unique.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1990
Title Recent geophysical and geological research in Antarctica related to the assessment of petroleum resources and potential environmental hazards to their development
DOI
Authors John C. Behrendt
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70138462
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program