New big oil find in Alaska near Prudhoe Bay field
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 project is expected to require thousands of jobs. It appears to be not that far from the major pipeline that brings oil down from Prudhoe Bay. It could add to the domestic production numbers and reduce further the need to import oil. Alaska can use the jobs boost.
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.