Canada, Denmark and Russia Claiming Extension of their Underwater Territories up to North Pole

Canada in order sustain its bid to expand its territory up to the North Pole has started a mission in which it will be mapping the Arctic seabed. Denmark and Russia have also set claims for underwater extension of their territories.

Canada has already sent two icebreakers to the High Arctic. These icebreakers will be collecting some scientific information. The vessels Terry Fox and Louis St. Laurent have been sent on a six weeks journey to eastern part of the Lomonosov ridge. According to officials, if the ice conditions will be supportable than this survey will also include surrounding areas of the North Pole.

Last year in December, Canada filed an application with the UN asking for underwater expansion of its territory. On the other hand, Russia and Denmark have also claimed that large area of Arctic seabed around the Lomonosov ridge extends from their shores. They say that North Pole lies on the Danish side of the ridge.

All the three countries are now busy in search for finding scientific proof about the ridge claiming that it is an underwater extension of their continental shelf.

Researchers say that the area is supposed to have large oil and gas reserves, which are estimated to hold 13% of the world's undiscovered oil and almost 30% of unknown natural gas reserves.

According to UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a coastal country can claim rights over natural resources above or beneath the sea only up to 200 nautical miles (370km) ahead of their main land territory.

Also, if the country claims that its continental shelf is extended beyond the specified distance in such case the country is supposed to produce certain evidence to UN commission, which will further give decision regarding the claim.