Barrels! Boom! Bust! …berries? Examining resource replacement when energy projects are shelved

Authors: Jessica Graybill*, Colgate University
Topics: Eurasia, Polar Regions, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Extraction, infrastructure, Russia, berries, political ecology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8216, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The community in the Village of Teriberka, Russia has forever been altered by onshore infrastructure related to the initial stages of development of the Shtokman offshore oil fields in the Murmansk region of Russia. Namely, a year-round road makes this formerly closed settlement in the Russian Arctic border zone accessible to any and all visitors from Russia and abroad. However, while the village is now inundated with tourists seeking Arctic adventures, Shotkman’s potentially high-yielding gas fields have yet to be developed due to severe Arctic conditions in the Barents Sea region, changing international relations between Russia and the West, and fluctuating natural gas prices worldwide. This scenario for rural development in the Arctic compels geographic inquiry that is problem- and community-based to understand how rural, isolated communities in extreme environments cope with the hopes—and hopes dashed—of large energy projects that may or may not alter their lives and community for the long term. Using Teriberka, Russia as a case study, I ask (1) how communities cope with changing timelines of energy projects, (2) how communities unaccustomed to visitors cope with the onslaught of (inter)national tourism, and (3) what the role of “outsiders” such as myself should be in assisting communities to address such life-altering infrastructural events when energy companies are involved.

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