Despite many failed attempts this year to get Artic offshore drilling underway, one company from Texas is plowing ahead with its own plans.
Hilcorp Energy is looking at building a 23-acre gravel island as a platform for five or more extraction wells that could tap oil six miles from shore in the Beaufort Sea. Its plans are now being studied by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Hilcorp projects a peak production rate of up to 70,000 barrels of oil per day within two years of initial production. Over 15 to 20 years, the company predicts it would yield 80 to 150m barrels of oil.
The environmental review will not be completed until at least 2017, and production could be several more years off. Locals in Alaska have voiced their strong opposition to the project.