The US Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management supports an accelerated plan of oil production. It includes 3 new wells across the Willow site in the Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, instead of having 5 wells predetermined earlier.
Before approving the project it is expected to pass an environmental review. Deb Holann, the US Interior Minister, will take a final decision.
The $8 billion project is likely to produce about 180,000 barrels of oil per day. However, if Deb Holann decides to limit drilling to 2 wells, the project won’t be economically viable for ConocoPhillips.
Now the project is limited to 3 wells, while drilling of the fourth is being deferred. To mitigate the environmental impact, the number of roads and pipelines is reduced.
It’s estimated that oil production would reach 614 million barrels in 31 years, which is 3% lower compared to the original ConocoPhillips proposal.