Hilcorp’s Arctic Offshore Drilling Plan Advances, Despite EIS Concerns

"The federal environmental impact statement moves the project ahead but cites concerns about effects on climate change, marine life and local communities."

"A proposal for the first oil and gas drilling in federal offshore waters of the Arctic took a step forward Thursday as regulators released a draft environmental impact statement, which reflects concerns about the effects of the project on marine life and local communities.

The so-called Liberty project, proposed by Houston-based Hilcorp, would have the company build a 24-acre gravel island in about 19 feet of water, from which they would drill up to 16 wells. Once it's up and running, the federal Bureau of Oceans and Energy Management (BOEM) expects the project to produce 58,000 barrels a day.

The release of the environmental assessment incorporates months of public comments about the project, including fears that it could negatively impact marine mammals and the communities that rely on them. It kicks off the next phase of the regulatory process, brings the company one step closer to realizing a project that has been in the works for decades."

Sabrina Shankman reports for InsideClimate News August 17, 2017.

Source: InsideClimate News, 08/18/2017