The U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday gave conditional approval to privately-held Hilcorp's long-awaited oil and gas production facility in federal waters off Alaska.
Hilcorp is seeking to build a nine-acre artificial gravel island in shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea.
"Using input from North Slope communities, tribal organizations, and the public, we have developed a robust set of environmental mitigation measures and safety practices that will be applied to this project," Joe Balash, the Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, said in a statement https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-approves-long-awaited-first-oil-production-facility-federal-waters-offshore.
In August, the department published an environmental impact statement that examined the possible impact of Hilcorp's proposed project and looked at a range of alternatives.
The Trump administration's efforts to open Alaska's Arctic to oil and gas drilling have failed to get attention from producers as they enjoy a drilling renaissance in continental United States.
Reporting by John Benny
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