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Oil & Gas

US green-lights modified plan for major ConocoPhillips oil project in Alaska

The US Department of the Interior has approved three well pads for ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil project in Alaska, reduced from the originally proposed five-pad project.

The project, five years in the making, is estimated to produce about 180,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak.

The official Record of Decision was released on Monday, following the recommended alternative plan that the Bureau of Land Management approved in its final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) last month.

Had the Interior Department decided to approve fewer than three well pads, the project would likely become no longer economically viable for ConocoPhillips to move forward.

“This was the right decision for Alaska and our nation,” said Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips’ chairman and chief executive.

“Willow fits within the Biden Administration’s priorities on environmental and social justice, facilitating the energy transition and enhancing our energy security, all while creating good union jobs and providing benefits to Alaska Native communities.”

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As part of the reduced plan, the Interior Department said ConocoPhillips will have to relinquish 68,000 acres of its existing leases in the National Petroleum Reserve, including about 60,000 acres in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area.

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