Onshore/Offshore Facilities

ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project Gets Green Light

Located in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, the Willow project is estimated to produce 180,000 BOPD at its peak.

ConocoPhillips' Alpine development on the Western North Slope of Alaska
ConocoPhillips' Alpine development on the Western North Slope could play a supporting role in the company's Willow Project.
Source: Judy Patrick/ConocoPhillips

Houston-based independent ConocoPhillips made a final investment decision (FID) on its Willow project in Alaska, approving the project and allotting funds for the construction needed to reach first oil production.

The decision follows the March 2023 Record of Decision made by the US Department of the Interior and recent positive court orders, the company said in a news release on 22 December 2023.

“We are excited to reach this significant milestone,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. “With this project authorization, we’ve begun winter construction, and Alaskans have started to receive the benefits from responsible energy development.”

When completed, the estimated $6 billion Willow development project near the Bear Tooth Unit of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) is estimated to produce approximately 600 million bbl across the lifetime of the project.

“We are grateful for the many supporters who advocated for Willow. Alaska Native communities and groups, especially those closest to the project on the North Slope, continually provided input that helped shape this project. We also appreciate the unwavering support from Alaska’s bipartisan congressional delegation—Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Mary Peltola, the state legislature, and organized labor groups,” Lance added. “Our employees and the contractor community have dedicated years to designing a project that will provide reliable energy while adhering to the highest environmental standards.”

The project, designed to support and coexist with subsistence activities on Alaska’s North Slope, underwent 5 years of rigorous regulatory and environmental review. FID for the project was expected in 2021; however, the US District Court of Alaska blocked the project by vacating environmental assessments previously approved in 2020 by the BLM and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In July 2022, the BLM issued a court-ordered draft supplemental environmental impact statement to the project’s master development plan.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, the Willow project is projected to deliver from $8 to $17 billion in new revenue for the federal government, the State of Alaska, and Alaska Native communities. The project will be built using materials primarily made and sourced in the US, potentially creating over 2,500 construction jobs and approximately 300 long-term jobs.