The U.S. Department of the Interior on Oct. 24 gave conditional approval to privately-held Hilcorp Energy Co.'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.
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 U.S.
In his initial column, Jeff Share remembers the difficult road the President and his Secretary of Energy faced in passing the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Revisions to the Obama-era plan include changes to the percentage of methane that must be captured at drilling locations and measures on well completions and leak detections.
An Exxon Mobil spokesperson said the company looks forward to refuting the allegations by the New York attorney general "as soon as possible and getting this meritless civil lawsuit dismissed."