On the heels of Russia’s claiming the North Pole a few months back, many others nations are rushing to stake a claim to millions of miles of seabed under the new UN Law of the Sea Convention:
The 21st century land rush is likely to be the last big shift in land ownership in centuries and reflects the necessity to claim new seams of the Earth’s resources. In total, as much as 2.7m square miles – an area similar in size to Australia – is believed to be at stake.
As usual, it’s about oil:
Britain is preparing territorial claims on tens of thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean floor around the Falklands, Ascension Island and Rockall in the hope of annexing potentially lucrative gas, mineral and oil fields
And, uh, oil:
With a high degree of likelihood, Russia will be able to increase its continental shelf by 1.2 million square kilometers [460,000 square miles] with potential hydrocarbon reserves of not less than 9,000 to 10,000 billion tonnes of conventional fuel beyond the 200-mile [322 kilometer] economic zone in the Arctic Ocean