The Stream, April 13: Insurance Market Cautions Arctic Oil Rush

Oil and Natural Gas Development
Companies should think carefully about the hard-to-manage environmental risks of drilling for oil in the Arctic, warned Lloyd’s of London, the world’s biggest insurance market. Some estimates predict that investment in Arctic energy resources could reach $US 100 billion over the next decade, the Guardian reported.

Royal Dutch Shell’s annual Sustainability Report showed that the company’s onshore operational oil spills in Nigeria increased from 32 in 2010 to 63 in 2011, though the volume of oil spilled onshore decreased, Reuters reported.

The hydraulic fracturing of two test wells in urban Los Angeles has sparked debate in California over fracking, a method of natural gas and oil extraction that pumps large quantities of water and chemicals underground, according to InsideClimate News.

Scientists concluded that fracking is likely linked to a rise in earthquakes across the middle regions of the United States. In 2011 there were 134 recorded seismic events—well above the 30-year average of 21, according to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey, Bloomberg News reported.

Africa and the Middle East
Zimbabwe’s government is struggling to put climate change policy in place as the country faces drought and food insecurity, AlertNet reported.

Water shortages, drinking water pollution and the development of water projects in the West Bank will be the focus of a meeting next week between Israeli and Palestinian officials, according to Xinhua.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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