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Government approves Alaska Petroleum Reserve Willow project

FILE - This Feb. 9, 2016, file photo shows an ice-covered ConocoPhillips sign at the Colville-Delta 5, or as it's more commonly known, CD5, drilling site on Alaska's North Slope. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal government has approved the Willow oil project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. That will allow construction to go forward near a prized conservation area in a largely undeveloped region. The Anchorage Daily News reports that U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the government’s decision allowing ConocoPhillips Co. to establish up to three drill sites, a processing facility and gravel roads and pipelines. The interior department says Willow could produce up to 160,000 barrels of oil daily and about 600 million barrels over 30 years. Conservation groups criticized the proposal as a threat to a wetland complex supporting wildlife in the reserve.

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