BP is gearing up to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska, a highly controversial venture that has been the target of protests by enviros. The project in the Northstar field of the Beaufort Sea could get underway as soon as November, and another similar project in the Liberty field could be launched soon after. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to complete an environmental impact study on the proposed Liberty project early next year. Enviros oppose both projects because they would use undersea pipelines, and warn that a spill in the region, which is rich in wildlife and often covered in ice, would be difficult to clean up. Five Greenpeace activists were arrested after protesting at BP’s Northstar site in February.

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