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USGS: Arctic Circle chock full of oil and gas

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As for the natural gas reserves, The New York Times reports that the region holds about 30 percent of the world's undiscovered natural gas, an amount equal to Russia's proven gas reserves, which are the world’s largest. But most of the natural gas estimated to be in the Arctic is also in Russia: as the Associated Press reports, the majority of it is concentrated in two Russian provinces.

How much would it cost to extract it?

Pumping oil out of the hot desert is one thing. Pumping it out of the Arctic seabed is another matter altogether. The New York Times's Dot Earth blogger, Andrew Revkin, calls Arctic drilling "ridiculously hard," and he directs readers to a story he wrote in 2004 that highlights the challenges of drilling there.

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