Breaking news: Melting glaciers good for oil business


Earlier today, reported CNN and a slew of other media outlets, a giant slab of ice in Antarctica collapsed -- and by giant, we're talking a piece of ice that's nine times the size of Manhattan.

But fear not, there is some promising business news to be had from a situation like this, if we assume what's good news for the North Pole is also good for the South. According to a story in today's Vancouver Sun, the melting ice fields are making the northern seas a more attractive place to drill for oil.

In recent years, Russia, Norway, Denmark and America have all been jockeying to dominate the Arctic Ocean's oil industry. There's even a company called the Arctic Oil & Gas Company. As its CEO Peter Sterling recently stated in comments picked up by this press release, "We are fortunate to live in a time where technology is catching up with our aspirations. Today, offshore technology can cope with weather conditions and other environmental challenges that would have been impossible two decades ago. Fortunately, we at Arctic Oil & Gas live at the right time in science, technology, and history, and we expect our company and its shareholders to benefit greatly as a result."

And so if the ice keeps melting at the bottom of the Earth, maybe Antarctica can be our next oil frontier. Why does everything going on with our oil industry and the melting glaciers sort of remind me of the plot of that global warming, apocalyptic movie, The Day After Tomorrow?

Of course, this good business news may someday be considered bad business news, if Manhattan is ever ankle-deep in water thanks to melting glaciers. I wonder how many oil executives live in Manhattan.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).