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Arctic Energy Resources is a volume of 26 papers recording the proceedings of the Comite' Arctique International Conference, held at the Veritas Centre, Oslo, Norway, September 22–24, 1982. This was the fourth of a series of meetings on the Arctic organized by the Comite', an organization established in the Principality of Monaco with the active support of H.S.H. Prince Rainer III. The fourth Conference was opened by H.R.H. Crown Prins Harald of Norway, a noble beginning for a noble objective.

The North Polar Region has drawn world attention recently because of several large hydrocarbon and other mineral discoveries and because of major political and environmental actions in the North American Arctic. Since 1923 when Naval Petroleum Reserve number 4 (NPR-4) was established, northern Alaska has been considered a major petroleum province. It was first explored systematically with modern techniques from 1943 to 1953. In 1958, Alaska became a state, and both federal and state lands in northern Alaska were available for private exploration. Building on the knowledge base provided by the Pet-4 program and its spinoff research laboratory at Barrow, industry explored the area east of NPR-4 and discovered the largest hydrocarbon accumulation (9.6 bbl crude oil and 26 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) gas) in North America at Prudhoe Bay. Concerns for environmental impacts, including oil spills, led to the passing of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969. In 1970, over 9 million acres were set aside, now known as the Arctic National Wildlife Range, and in 1971 the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Arab oil embargo of 1973 heightened the energy crisis and changed the economic basis for further exploration in the Arctic. The convergence of these events dramatically changed the balance of power and the pace of activity in the North American Arctic.