The Biden administration approved the massive Willow oil-drilling project in the Alaskan Arctic in March 2023 over the objections of environmentalists and many Democrats who wanted the project scuttled. The green light means Houston-based ConocoPhillips can start construction on its roughly $7 billion project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, which the company expects will produce about 180,000 barrels of oil a day at its peak—equivalent to about 40% of Alaska’s current crude production…The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has estimated that oil and gas extracted from its recommended version of the Willow project would generate more than 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the project’s lifetime.
The approval paves the way for ConocoPhillips to build an airstrip, more than 430 miles of ice roads and nearly 270 miles of individual pipelines, among other infrastructure, according to the BLM’s environmental review of the project…
The company, which is the largest crude producer in Alaska, sits on abundant reserves in the state. As of the end of 2021, it owned about 1.6 million net undeveloped acres in the state, according to ConocoPhillips. Approval of the project means that ConocoPhillips now has a hub from which to further expand into Alaska… The initial build-out from Willow will allow ConocoPhillips to develop more wells and infrastructure in the coming years, he said. “It will be in many ways the gift that keeps on giving…”
Excerpts from Benoît Morenne, Biden Administration Approves Willow Oil-Drilling Project in Alaskan Arctic, WSJ, Mar. 13, 2023