ConocoPhillips found what could be 300 million barrels of oil in Alaska
ConocoPhillips has found a new Alaskan oil vein 90 miles west of the prolific Prudhoe Bay field, one that may hold 300 million barrels of oil.
The discovery could become a multibillion-dollar project that takes more than half a decade to fully develop, the company said Friday.
The Houston driller found the oil in the northeast part of Alaska’s federally owned, 37,000-square mile National Petroleum Reserve, where it drilled two exploration wells early last year.
The so-called Willow discovery, ConocoPhillips said, could be capable of producing 100,000 barrels of crude a day sometime in the next decade, depending on how it engineers its operations the region. It plans to begin 3D seismic evaluations this month, which could firm up its initial tests.
The company believes it could begin pumping commercial quantities of crude from the area in 2023. It noted the two exploration wells are 28 miles west of a production facility in the region, the Alpine Central Facility, making it a more economic find.
Joe Marushack, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, said the Willow discovery could take billions of dollars to develop and could generate thousands of Alaskan jobs during the construction of production facilities. It could also generate hefty state revenues for Alaska, which leans heavily on oil revenues.
The Woodlands-based oil explorer Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has a 22 percent stake in the discovery, while ConocoPhillips owns the other 78 percent. The two companies acquired more than 594,900 acres on the western North Slope of Alaska, to further explore the region.