US President Joe Biden’s administration will approve a controversial oil drilling project in Alaska, news reports say, a day after a series of protections against energy exploration were announced for the northern state and the Arctic.
A decision is expected to be announced today Monday March 13th, unnamed officials were quoted as saying by the New York Times and Reuters news agency.
On Friday, the White House pushed back on reports that Biden will authorise the project as soon as this week, saying a decision had not been made yet.
The $8bn Willow project, led by energy giant ConocoPhillips, would be located inside the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 23 million-acre area on the state’s North Slope that is the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the United States.
Announced in January 2017, it is expected to produce about 600 million barrels of oil equivalent over its life, peaking at 180,000 barrels per day, ConocoPhillips said on its website.