For the first time in two years, the federal government has approved an oil company's request to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) granted a permit for Italian oil giant Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc. to drill an exploratory well in the Beaufort Sea. That’s three miles offshore of Oliktok Point near Prudhoe Bay, on a manmade island called Spy Island.
Eni submitted its application in August. The company already owns leases there but had planned to let it expire before the Trump Administration reversed the Obama Administration's policy, which all but banned offshore drilling in federal waters.