At first glance, Santa’s home at the North Pole would seem a safe distance from the rest of the world’s problems and the ideal place to operate a toy workshop.

But the Arctic has become a knot of international disputes and obscure legal concepts, making activities there anything but simple. Reserves of oil and natural gas and increasingly accessible shipping routes put formerly theoretical questions about territorial rights at the center of a global debate.

Denmark, Canada and Russia all stake claims to the North Pole — assertions others contest. As more governments make a grab for the increasingly valuable Arctic, Santa Claus unwittingly sits at the center of a clash over conflicting international policy.

So, can a large-scale venture like Santa’s workshop operate in the North Pole without treading on international law?