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Posted: Mar 14, 2023 6:35 AMUpdated: Mar 14, 2023 6:36 AM

Willow Drilling Project in Alaska Approved for ConocoPhillips

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Tom Davis /OKEnergyToday.com

The Biden administration on Monday announced approval of the controversial Willow oil drilling project in Alaska and it was welcome news to ConocoPhillips.

The administration also announced new limits on Arctic drilling in an apparent effort to temper criticism over the $8 billion Willow oil project, which has faced sharp opposition.

Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer tells OKEnergyToday.com, “This was the right decision for Alaska and our nation.” 

“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.”

It involved nearly 5 years of regulatory and environmental review allowing approval under the National Environmental Policy Act process. ConocoPhillips said Willow is designed to support and coexist with subsistence activities with many mitigation measures built into the project design.

While the project was approved by President Biden, his Interior Department plans to issue new rules blocking oil and gas leases on more than 13 million of the 23 million acres that make up the Reserve.

The giant oil company said following the announcement it expects to immediately begin gravel road construction activities.

Conoco Phillips said the Willow project is estimated to produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak, decreasing American dependence on foreign energy supplies. The project is projected to deliver between $8 billion to $17 billion in new revenue for the federal government, the state of Alaska and North Slope Borough communities.

Willow will be built using materials primarily made and sourced in the U.S. and has the potential to create over 2,500 construction jobs and approximately 300 long-term jobs.


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