Obama to allow more Arctic drilling - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Obama to allow more Arctic drilling

Shell rig bound for Alaska passes downtown Seattle-- AP Shell rig bound for Alaska passes downtown Seattle-- AP

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the federal government will announce its five-year offshore lease plan later this week and it will include targeted areas off Alaska's northern coast.

Salazar says the Arctic lease sales will be in areas with high petroleum potential, but low conflict with environmental resources.

Speaking Tuesday to reporters from Trondheim, Norway, Salazar says the government's five-year offshore leasing plan will include potential lease sales in Alaska's Chukchi (CHUCK'-chee) Sea in 2016 and Beaufort (BOW'-fort) Sea in 2017.

Shell Oil holds leases from previous sales and is awaiting final permits to drill in both areas during the open water season this summer.

Salazar says Shell on Monday successfully tested a capping stack that could be lowered to stop a spill from a well blowout in Arctic waters.

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