BP's Arctic Northstar Oilfield Online by Year-end

BP's Northstar oil field, the first U.S. offshore Arctic oil project with an undersea pipeline, will begin producing by November or December, and will hit its target 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the new year.

Three production modules left Anchorage on barges this week and should reach Seal Island shortly. Production at the Northstar field, which holds an estimated 175 million barrels of crude, has been the target of much environmental criticism due to concern that its 6-mile undersea pipeline section could be damaged by ice floes known to scour the ocean floor.

BP has said the pipeline is environmentally sound and buried well below reach of the ice pack and armed with sophisticated leak-detection devices.

Northstar will tie into the Trans Alaskan Pipeline System, running oil south into the lower 48 states.