The Trump administration has approved drilling in the Arctic as soon as December.

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved Arctic exploration operations in the Beaufort Sea on Tuesday, the first time the federal government has issued an Arctic drilling permit in more than two years.

The permit was granted to Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc., an Italian oil and natural gas company that’s been vying for access to the Arctic’s considerable cache of oil and gas since last August. Exploratory drilling could begin as early as next month at Spy Island, a human-made gravel island in Alaskan waters where the company already has 18 production wells.

Eni U.S. plans to use extended-reach drilling techniques to reach submerged federal lands, a complex technology that allows producers to reach deposits in environmentally sensitive areas more than