The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved a drilling permit for Conoco Phillips in Alaska.
The decision was awarded on the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Unit oil and gas development project.
It will open the way for the first production oil and gas from federal land in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
BLM director Neil Kornze said: “I’m proud of this collaborative effort to ensure thoughtful, balanced, and responsible development in the NPR-A that will provide additional economic security
for Alaskans as well as a new source of oil for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.”
The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) is the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States.
The project proposed by ConocoPhillips includes the construction of a 11.8 acre drilling pad in the northern portion of the 23-million acre land.
As well as above-ground elevated pipelines and an electric power line, the project will provide access to both federal and Arctic Slope regional corporation oil and gas resources.
BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley, said:“We continue to work extensively with ConocoPhillips, Alaska Inc. in developing a responsible path forward in the development of oil and gas resources in the NPR-A.
“This important milestone lays the groundwork for future development and our commitment to serve America’s energy needs and Alaska’s economic viability.”
In 2011, President Obama directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct annual oil and gas lease sales in the NPR-A.
Lease sales had previously been held every two years.
Since 1999, 11 lease sales in the NPR-A have garnered more than $261 million, half of which was shared with the State of Alaska.
On November 18, 2015, the BLM will conduct its 12th annual lease sale in the NPR-A, which will include 143additional tracts covering approximately 1.5 million acres.