US government might start a new oil project in Alaska

US government might start a new oil project in Alaska 

The United States is contemplating a new major project, this time in Alaska. Usually, oil drilling is linked with many environmental problems. Such activity damages the surrounding area, in most cases rendering it unlivable. That’s why authorities must be cautious and envision all possible outcomes before approving new drilling.

However, it seems this project checks all the boxes as President Joe Biden’s administration plans to give it the green light on Monday. This project is a major and contentious oil drilling effort in Alaska.

In the first stage, the responsible company will begin with three drill sites in northwestern Alaska.

On Sunday, the US president spoke about sweeping curbs on gas and oil leasing, highlighting the importance of protecting approximately 16M acres of land and water in the region, though. When companies start oil drilling, it often mixes with the water, causing the death of plants and animals. While humans usually move from the territory beforehand, sometimes the damage is so massive that it reaches further settlements, forcing people to relocate.

Is the Willow project different? 

ConocoPhillips is taking the reins on the newly planned Willow project. According to the company, they will start drilling inside the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The latter is a 23M-acre (93M-hectare) area located on the state’s North Slope. Thus far, it has been America’s largest tract of public land.

The company first introduced the Willow project in January 2017. It hopes to produce approximately 600M barrels of oil. That means ConocoPhillips will gain 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The US Interior Department declared that 3M acres of the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean would be “indefinitely off limits” to gas and oil leasing, thus barring all oil drilling activities in US Arctic waters.

On Sunday, the administration stated that the government plans to add more protections for additional 13M acres of special areas within Alaska’s petroleum reserve that are “ecologically sensitive.”

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