Canadians Set Out To Claim Arctic Territory

Canadian explorers hope to prove the North Pole and surrounding area, with oil and natural gas, sits on its continental plate.

Canadians Set Out To Claim Arctic Territory

How far would you go to claim what’s yours? 

Well, this weekend Canada sent two ice-breakers to the North Pole to claim oil and natural gas-filled territory that could belong to two other countries. (Video Via BBC)

The Canadian government released a statement Friday saying the goal of the exploration is two-fold: to gather information about the resources of the area and to extend Canadian territory.

“Our government is securing our sovereignty while expanding our economic and scientific opportunities by defining Canada’s last frontier.”

Thing is, the territory could belong to Russia or Denmark. 

This map by the BBC shows how the Ridge extends into both Canadian, Danish and Russian territories. All we know is the North Pole is right where the three territories meet.

And how's this for incentive: the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the area could hold 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its undiscovered natural gas. This acquisition could mean a whole lot of money for Canada. 

Canada submitted its application to the United Nations last year to expand its northern territory. The country said the North Pole should be in its possession because it is on Canada's continental plate. 

Russia had already claimed this area in 2001. Russia also said it should be its territory because it is on their continental plate. 

But the underwater area hasn’t been mapped so no one really knows which country it belongs to. If these Canadian explorers can prove the pole is on their continental plate, the country could get the rights.

And the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas says a coastal nation can claim exclusive rights to the natural resources on its sea floor up to 200 miles out, so all are eligible. 

Canada's exploration mission is expected to take six weeks.