"ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A subsidiary of an Italian energy company has received a federal permit to drill the first oil exploration wells in U.S. Arctic waters in two years.
The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced Tuesday it has approved an application from Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc. to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea.
Drilling could begin next month from Spy Island, a gravel artificial island in state waters about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) off the coast near Prudhoe Bay. Eni will use extended-reach drilling techniques to reach federal submerged lands.
The drilling would be the first in federal Arctic waters since Royal Dutch Shell in 2015 sent down an exploratory well in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast."