争夺北冰洋石油的战争已经打响，随着极地冰盖消融，能源公司正把视线投向北极，寻找潜在的超级新油田。4月份，埃克森美孚（Exxon Mobil）与规模庞大的俄罗斯石油公司（Rosneft）宣布缔结合作协议，将共同开发喀拉海约有850亿桶的原油储备。今年夏季，壳牌（Shell）预计将在阿拉斯加沿岸的北冰洋开始勘探性的海上油井钻探。在他的新书《爱斯基摩人与石油巨子》（The Eskimo and the Oil Man）中，鲍勃•赖斯详细描绘了壳牌如何通过多年努力，终于获得政府批准，启动这项规模达数十亿美元的项目，并解释了北冰洋资源争夺战的经济与地缘政治影响。不过，在北冰洋开采石油谈何容易，大量核动力破冰船将不可或缺。
《爱斯基摩人与石油巨子》将于5月份由大中央出版公司（Grand Central Publishing，原华纳书局）旗下的Business Plus出版。本文撷取其精萃，供读者先睹为快。
美国人在北冰洋石油钻探方面裹足不前，这让住在阿拉斯加州安克雷奇的俄国人觉得好笑——俄国国内对此相当乐观。眼前这位老人已经75岁高龄，已经谢顶，行动也很缓慢，但思维仍然犀利，眼神中不时透露出智慧。他位于库克船长酒店（the Hotel Captain Cook）的房间楼层很高，桌子上放着台打开的手提电脑，他用食指指着上面正在播放的一段视频：一些看起来很健康的男人穿着运动短裤在跑步机上锻炼。他说英语时语速缓慢、有板有眼。
The race for oil in the Arctic is on. As the polar ice cap retreats, energy companies are looking north for a potentially huge new source of crude supply. In April, Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Russian oil giant Rosneft announced a partnership to develop Arctic reserves in the Kara Sea estimated at up to 85 billion barrels. And this summer, Shell is expected to begin exploratory offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. In his new book The Eskimo and the Oil Man, Bob Reiss details Shell's (RDSA) years-long effort to win approval for this multi-billion-dollar project and explains the economic and geopolitical ramifications of the competition for control of the Arctic. But getting the oil out won't be easy. It could require lots of nuclear-powered icebreakers.
Here, an excerpt from The Eskimo and the Oil Man, to be published in May by Business Plus, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing.
The Russian in Anchorage was amused by American gridlock in the Arctic because it was so different from the bullish attitude back home. He was 75 years old, bald and slow moving, but his mind was sharp and his eyes showed keen twinkling intelligence. His room in the Hotel Captain Cook occupied a high floor. His open laptop sat on his desk and he jabbed his index finger at the video running there, showing healthy-looking men in gym shorts running on a treadmill. His English was slow and measured.
"First we made nuclear bombs," said Evgeny Pavlovich Velikhov.
Velikhov—a lead speaker at the conference downstairs on the opening Arctic—was an ex-winner of the Lenin Prize and was president of Russia's prestigious Kurchatov Institute, its leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy.
"Then we made nuclear submarines."
He had also been a Russian arms negotiator and had been designated by the United States as a hero of Chernobyl after he led efforts to clean up that nuclear disaster.
"Arctic is next big place!"
Now, he was promoting a new way to get hydrocarbons out of the Arctic seabed by using nuclear power. In Russia there was no question of whether drilling would proceed in the Arctic. The question was how.