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- "The Atlas provides enough fuel to keep the Fed running for years."
- — Elias T. Walker in the Atlas Falls cutscene
The Atlas was a massive oil drilling platform commissioned by the Federation to exploit petroleum resources in Antarctica. Sometime after the founding of the Federation, national energy interests sought to capitalize on all assets available in South and Central America. With the knowledge of vast oil deposits in Antarctica and Southern Ocean, modern estimates of around 200 billion barrels, the Federation began exploration in operations in their member states' (Argentina and Chile) territorial claims along the Antarctic Peninsula. A large, offshore oil field was eventually discovered in the Drake Passage. However, due to the Antarctica Treaty banning the exploitation of resources from the continent as well as political pressure from a truce established with the United States in 2015 the Federation was barred from developing the region. After crippling the economic, political, and military power of the United States via the hijacking of ODIN in 2017, the Federation was free to establish a significant oil industry in Antartica. It is likely that the Federation's military purged the continent of all foreign research bases so as to claim a monopoly on whatever wealth that could be recovered.
The Atlas was constructed as the largest oil derrick in the world. It extracted great quantities of crude oil every day, likely upwards of a million barrels. To compliment this industrial complex a large oil refinery was erected a few miles away on the nearby snow covered Livingston Island. After being refined, the great variety of petroleum products were shipped through a network of undersea pipelines or aboard conventional oil tankers via a terminal northward across the Drake Passage to the South American mainland. Several thousand workers operated the massive complex. Despite the harsh environments of the polar region, the few hundred workers abroad the Atlas platform found comfort in the advanced design of the rig. They likely rotated to the rig for several months and were compensated with generous incomes because of the high risk work. It is likely that several of the Federation's state owned and private oil companies held stake in the rig.
Throughout the ongoing War the United States had seen the Atlas as a potential strategic target. Original plans had been forged to capture the platform, thereby denying energy assets to the enemy, as well as bolstering the war effort. However, the Atlas was too far into Federation controlled territory for a realistic attack to occur. Knowing their enemies desired to hit the platform motivated the Federation to station an assortment of troops and equipment in Antarctica. The proximity of the Federation's Third Naval Fleet along the Brazilian and Argentine coastline gave the Federation an advantage in response time for substantial backup. However, it left the faction vulnerable to a "bait and switch" tactic.
Upon learning of an enemy missile factory in the heavily guarded Port of Rio, the Ghosts conjured a plan to distract the Third Fleet from its base. Commander Elias Walker (Scarecrow) deployed a Ghost team which included his sons Logan and David to the Drake Passage for a saboteur mission against the Atlas. On June 25th, 2027 the Ghosts assaulted the Atlas Platform under the cover of polar night. After emerging from the ice and killing the entire garrison, the Ghosts rappelled up to the main body of the Atlas. There they fought through additional Federation soldiers and armed Atlas workers. While Keegan, Kick, and Hesh engaged the remaining forces aboard the platform, Merrick and Logan sabotaged the Atlas by shutting down the rig's flare stock. This caused pressure in the main equipment to build past the facility's design limits and explode. The Atlas's emergency fire suppression system kicked in. However Merrick and Logan also overwhelmed the system's controls and put the platform into a critical state. They quickly escaped the rig via a hijacked helicopter and headed north as the Atlas erupted and sunk into the Drake Passage.
During and after the attack Federation forces in Antartica obviously radioed for assistance. The Third Fleet, being the largest and closest Federation military asset got underway towards the Atlas, fulfilling the diversionary plan of Elias. All but one ship, an advanced next generation Aegis destroyer, left the Port of Rio and steamed southward to Antarctica. By the time of their arrival the Ghosts were long gone and were already in the process of sinking the remaining vessel in Rio and infiltrating the missile factory. All the Third Fleet could accomplish was rescue survivors of the Atlas and survey the extensive damage. The Federation had lost a major portion of their oil production capacity. This undoubtedly sent shock waves through the alliance's economic fields and saw world oil prices climb. The Federation's leadership was beginning to take the threat the Ghosts posed seriously, and conveyed an order to capture and kill the perpetrators to their own tier one soldiers led by Captain-General Gabriel Rorke.