An exploratory well was drilled by Union Oil Company of California from a grounded ice island constructed in the Beaufort Sea. The ice island was 60 km west of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, 3 km offshore, in 3 m of water.
Operations commenced in November, 1976, and terminated in April 1977. Project cost was $8 000 000. The ice island melted by mid July, 1977.
Grounded ice islands can be used in arctic areas of shallow water and little pack ice movement. They are environmentally acceptable and economically feasible.