Chukchi Sea (Russian: Чуко́тское мо́ре, tr. Chukotskoye more, IPA: [tɕʊˈkotskəjə ˈmorʲɪ]), sometimes referred to as the Chuuk Sea, Chukotsk Sea[4] or the Sea of Chukotsk,[5] is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is bounded on the west by the Long Strait, off Wrangel Island, and in the east by Point Barrow, Alaska, beyond which lies the Beaufort Sea. The Bering Strait forms its southernmost limit and connects it to the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The principal port on the Chukchi Sea is Uelen in Russia. The International Date Line crosses the Chukchi Sea from northwest to southeast. It is displaced eastwards to avoid Wrangel Island as well as the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug on the Russian mainland.

In 2012, scientists from the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory published findings describing the discovery of the largest-known oceanic phytoplankton algal bloom in the world. The findings were unexpected as it was previously believed that the plankton grows only after the seasonal ice melt, yet some algae was discovered under several metres of intact sea ice.[12]

Oil and gas resources

The Chukchi shelf is believed to hold oil and gas reserves as high as 30 billion barrels (4.8×109 mThe Chukchi shelf is believed to hold oil and gas reserves as high as 30 billion barrels (4.8×109 m3). Several oil companies have competed for leases on the area, and on 6 February 2008, the U.S. government announced the successful bidders would pay US$2.6 billion for extraction rights. The auction drew considerable criticism from environmentalists.[13] In 2015, the Obama administration's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management gave a conditional approval for Shell Oil to drill in shallow (140 ft [43 m] deep) Chukchi Sea waters.[14] In September 2015, Shell announced that it was ending its oil exploration in the region, citing tremendous cost and declining oil prices.[15] Shell vowed to return, but eventually gave up all but one of the corporation's leases in the Arctic.[16]

See also