“With U.S. demand for oil skyrocketing, major petroleum companies believe the last huge undiscovered oil fields will be found north of the Arctic Circle beneath the sea. Out front in the search is Shell Oil Company, which plans to sink an exploratory well in the seabed off Alaska's North Slope this summer. In this brisk, revealing account, veteran author and journalist Reiss (Black Monday, 2007, etc.), a former correspondent for Outside magazine, tells the story of two men whose dealings are critical to the region's future.
Pete Slaiby is the Shell employee charged with clearing the way for exploratory drilling. Edward Itta, an Inupiat Eskimo whaler and the Barrow-based mayor of the North Slope of Alaska, must protect his people's natural resources ("The ocean is our garden," he says) while ensuring that acceptable oil drilling generates much-needed tax revenue.”
“While researching "The Eskimo and The Oil Man," I had the great pleasure of going to Norway for a first hand visit to Statoil facilities at Hammerfest, an Arctic conference in Tromso and to the High North military command. I spoke with Ole Anders Lindseth, director general of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and with Jonas Gahr Store, as well as with several military people in Bodo.
The resulting chapter, "What Norway Can Teach the US," focuses on ways that Norway leases and oversees offshore hydrocarbon extraction, as well as providing US readers with a take on Russia's role in the Arctic, and the future of the region in general. The United States is only now beginning to regard itself as an Arctic nation, and Norway's example can go far in informing us of ways to deal with the challenges and opportunities in our own opening high north.”