Construction on Willow Oil Project in Alaska Underway, an Industrial Info News Alert

SUGAR LAND, Texas & HOUSTON--()--Researched by Industrial Info Resources-- Raising its guidance for full-year production, ConocoPhillips Company added that it started construction on the controversial Willow oil project in Alaska, some two months after plans were approved.

Ryan Lance, the chairman and chief executive at Conoco, touted what he said was a record level of production over the first quarter at around 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d), compared with 1.74 million BOE/d during the same period last year, a 2.6% increase.

When adjusting for closed acquisitions, the company said production during the first quarter was actually 4% higher than during the first quarter of 2022.

Elsewhere, the company said it was pleased to have received a positive decision for its Willow oil project in Alaska, where it acquired oil and gas leases in the late 1990s.

In announcing first-quarter figures, Conoco added that it "commenced construction on the Willow project after receiving a positive record of decision from the U.S. Department of the Interior approving a development plan with three core pads."

The federal government signed off on Willow on March 13, though its scope was scaled down significantly. Conoco had pursued five drilling sites, though the government signed off on three of those. Another 68,000 acres were erased in the government's record of decision.

Willow will be complex. The government outlined details for everything from infield roads, an ice bridge and an airstrip in its decision. Each of the three well pads, meanwhile, will have as many as 50 wells each.

Oil and gas companies have made few friends over the last few years, apart from their shareholders who are enjoying the benefits of record-setting revenue streams.

But while net income for the first quarter topped analyst estimates by almost $1 billion at $2.9 billion, Conoco's return was about half what it was from the same period last year. Most of that was the result of lower commodity prices. Conoco realized $60.86 per barrel during the first quarter, down 21% from year-ago levels.

Conoco's shares improved by 4.4% after the release of first-quarter figures. That makes shareholders happy, but it's out of step with the pulse of the younger generation of voters who are hoping for a greener future.

Rallies against pipelines, such as the Line 5 project in Michigan, and opposition to the Willow project could create headaches for an 80-year-old President Joe Biden trying to drum up support for another term.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland went on defense last month, telling the annual conference for the Society of Environmental Journalists that the White House is not "going to turn the faucet off" for oil and gas.

Against growing calls for renewable and alternative forms of energy, some of those options--such as hydrogen--are in the early stages of development. While those technologies build up, and as the global market landscape shifts in response to the war in Ukraine, oil and natural gas remains available today.

"We're not going to say we're not going to use gas and oil," Haaland said. "That's not reality."

All told, Willow will add up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day (BBL/d) to Conoco's portfolio. That would boost Alaska's overall output by around 40% to 622,000 BBL/d, based on production data to the last week of April. Subscribers to Industrial Info's Global Market Intelligence (GMI) Oil & Gas Production Project Database can click here for a list of Willow-related project reports and click here for the related plant profiles.

Conoco, meanwhile, added that it raised its overall production guidance for the year, from between 1.76 million and 1.8 million BOE/d to between 1.78 and 1.8 million BOE/d.

Willow will also bring in as much as $17 billion in new revenue to the federal and state governments, as well as local communities. First oil is expected approximately six years after construction begins.

Industrial Info Resources (IIR) is the leading provider of industrial market intelligence. Since 1983, IIR has provided comprehensive research, news and analysis on the industrial process, manufacturing and energy related industries. IIR's Global Market Intelligence (GMI) helps companies identify and pursue trends across multiple markets with access to real, qualified and validated plant and project opportunities. Across the world, IIR is tracking over 200,000 current and future projects worth $17.8 Trillion (USD).


Brian Ford
Ph: 713-980-9393


Brian Ford
Ph: 713-980-9393