Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Video Shows Oil Company's Plans to Drill Arctic From Artificial Island

Energy
vimeo.com

The Liberty Project has posted a video about its proposal to build the nation's first oil production platform in federal waters in the Arctic.

The video was quietly uploaded two months ago and shows Hilcorp Alaska's plan to build an artificial gravel island and undersea pipeline for its offshore drilling project in the Beaufort Sea. Frankly speaking, the five-minute clip—with its all-American voiceover and electric guitar riffs—is something you'd expect from a pickup truck commercial.


According to the Associated Press (AP), the man-made island—located 5.6 miles off shore—would consist of a 24-acre base on the ocean floor that's about the size of 18 football fields. It will have sloped sides that lead to a work surface of 9 acres, or about seven football fields, allowing room for 16 wells, including five to eight conventional production wells.

Hilcorp estimates it could extract up to 70,000 barrels per day for a total recovery of 80 million to 150 million barrels over 15 to 20 years.

Hilcorp insists that it is committed to safety and its technology is sound, but environmental groups have warned about the company's record in Alaska, including its months-long gas leak in its underwater pipelines in Cook Inlet in the Spring.

Previous Arctic project studies have also warned that offshore drilling in those remote, treacherous waters carries a 75 percent chance of a major oil spill, noted the Center for Biological Diversity.

But proponents of the project have pointed out that Liberty would be the 19th artificial drilling island in Alaska, including four that are already pumping oil from state waters.

"This isn't venturing into new waters. Anyone who sells fear or the least likely outcome to discourage these types of investments coming forward is doing a disservice to Alaska, doing a disservice to the public," said Joshua Kendrick, an attorney for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association.

Federal regulators are currently taking public input on the Liberty project. The comment period ends on Nov. 18. The AP reports that the final decision lies with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Artist's impression of an Othalo community, imagined by architect Julien De Smedt. Othalo

By Victoria Masterson

Using one of the world's problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up's mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Brett Wilkins

Despite acknowledging that the move would lead to an increase in the 500 million to one billion birds that die each year in the United States due to human activity, the Trump administration on Friday published a proposed industry-friendly relaxation of a century-old treaty that protects more than 1,000 avian species.

Read More Show Less

Trending

U.S. returns create about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. manonallard / Getty Images

Many people shop online for everything from clothes to appliances. If they do not like the product, they simply return it. But there's an environmental cost to returns.

Read More Show Less
Climate Envoy John Kerry (L) and President-elect Joseph (R) are seen during Kerry's ceremonial swearing in as Secretary of State on February 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America's reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as U.S. climate envoy.

Read More Show Less
Scientific integrity is key for protecting the field against attacks. sanjeri / Getty Images

By Maria Caffrey

As we approach the holidays I, like most people, have been reflecting on everything 2020 has given us (or taken away) while starting to look ahead to 2021.

Read More Show Less