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Nuna and Willow Oil Projects Receive Green Light Featured

Mar 13 2023 Be the first to comment!

ConocoPhillips Alaska announced that funding for the Nuna Project was approved. Before that, the company posted a press release Monday, March 13 announcing the Biden administration's approval of its decade long development plan for producing oil and gas for the nation and on June 1, the company announced that funding for the Nuna Project was approved..

Read the ConocoPhillips Willow Project Press Release here and the announcement issued by Alaska Oil and Gas Association on behalf of Alaska unions and business organizations.

Robin Glover, Senior Environmental Assurance Coordinator, ConocoPhillips in Houston, is excited that the Department of the Interior issued the Willow Record of Decision, adopting the three-pad project, and the Federal judge ruled that the Willow Project construction can move forward as environmental groups’ lawsuits proceed. "This is great news for Alaska and our nation as this project is important in securing America’s energy future," said Robin. "The world will still need hydrocarbons through the energy transition, and Willow can provide those in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Responsible operations are especially important in the sensitive ecosystem of Alaska’s North Slope. As a former ConocoPhillips Alaska employee, I can attest to the company’s commitment to environmental and social stewardship in Alaska."

Said ARCO and BP Alaska Alumnus, Frank Paskvan, “I'm onboard for Willow development. Willow plays a big part of America’s energy transition plan, and it's strongly supported by Alaskans across the State. ConocoPhillips is a great operator and we can do environmentally sound development in Alaska better than anywhere else".

Scott Tinkham, oil and gas professional and Baker Hughes alumnus, shared from the April 6 New York Times: “One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Willow project will be the North Slope Borough, which includes the eight communities across the northernmost part of the United States. About 95 percent of the borough’s annual $410 million budget comes from local taxes on oil and gas operations.

Oil money pays for a range of things, including a new basketball floor at the recreation center in Utqiagvik and heating bills for Nuiqsut residents.” The New York Times reported on April 6:

In Nuiqsut, a village of about 500 people and the closest town to the site of the drilling project, the only hotel is booked solid. It’s the Kuukpik Hotel, a row of metal trailers that also hosts the cafeteria that serves as the only restaurant in town — in fact, the only one for hundreds of miles. Sitting in the cafeteria on a recent Wednesday (“Steak Night” at the Kuukpik) oil workers from California, Oklahoma and other parts of Alaska said they were excited by the years of employment promised by the project, known as Willow. “I can probably retire on it,” one man said. 

A transition to renewable energy is going to take a long time, said Connor Dunn, a ConocoPhillips manager in Alaska. “There is going to be a significant need for U.S. domestic oil production for a great many decades to come,” he said. 

Willow will consist of as many as 199 wells spread across three drill sites, which the company believes could produce nearly 600 million barrels of oil over 30 years. That would make it the largest oil project in the United States.

Elevated pipelines seven feet above ground would carry oil from the drill sites to existing pipes at the Alpine site, eventually connecting with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which stretches 800 miles from Alaska’s North Slope to Valdez in southern Alaska.

Another New York Times article on the same day shared that an analysis of global data shows that Willow represents a small fraction of hundreds of new oil and gas extraction projects approved in the past year across the world, including many more in the United States. And in the coming months, dozens of additional projects are expected to be approved.

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