Oil company proposes Arctic drilling from artificial island

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The federal government is collecting public comment on a proposal to drill in Arctic waters from an artificial island.

A subsidiary of Houston-based Hilcorp has proposed building a 24-acre artificial gravel island in the Beaufort (BOH-fort) Sea off Alaska's north coast that would hold production wells.

The island would be 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) off shore. Processed oil would move by underground pipe to shore.

Opponents say spills are inevitable and Arctic offshore oil should stay in the ground, where it won't add greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

The state of Alaska supports the project for the jobs and economic benefits it would bring.

Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack says oil production on gravel islands in state waters show that the Liberty Project can be done safely.