The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly investigating charges that up to 2,000 gallons of oil were dumped into Alaska's Beaufort Sea in 2003.
A Pioneer Natural Resources Co. drilling crew is accused of intentionally dumping the oil that was in contaminated mud, The Wall Street Journal reported.
EPA officials wouldn't say whether an investigation is taking place, but Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation officials told the newspaper the EPA notified the department a criminal investigation is under way.
Charles Hamel, an oil-industry critic from Alexandria, Va., told the Journal he alerted the EPA in June about the alleged incident after hearing about it from four oil company workers.
The report comes as Congress considers whether to allow drilling for oil under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: Engineering students develop a super 'space stethoscope'