The very fact that the Defense Department actually acknowledged the presence a Russian ship was telling in and of itself.
U.S. Northern Command was alerted to the presence of the Kurily after intelligence sources first notified the U.S. Coast Guard.
The ship being shadowed by the Russian vessel was contracted to Shell Oil and is actively searching for oil in the Chukchi Sea, a region north of the Bering Strait that lies between Alaska and Russia. American and foreign oil companies are currently racing to discover – and claim – oil in the region.
Shell began exploratory oil drilling in Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska in May.
Source: National Security News
“The U.S. oil giant had been pushing for years for a green light from the federal government to begin tapping into vast oil reserves in the Arctic, drilling that environmentalists vigorously oppose due to risks to the environment and wildlife,” the CNN network reported.
The U.S., Russia and even China – as well as other Western powers including Canada, Norway and Denmark – are all competing for a share of the Arctic, as ice floes shrink and the region becomes more accessible. Vast mineral and oil/gas deposits are thought to be hidden under the Arctic.
As NationalSecurity.news has noted, the Arctic is becoming more strategic to the West and Russia.