Willow Discovery

Use the key messages below to help craft your letter to the Bureau of Land Management in support of the Willow project.

Willow Draft EIS Preferred Alternative

Our proposed project, Alternative B, is also the preferred alternative for the BLM. Alternative B provides for a road connection back to the Alpine infrastructure and road connections to all the drill sites. Road connections are essential for safe and environmentally sound operations.

Alternative B would also reduce environmental impacts compared to other alternatives by requiring less gravel fill, fresh water, and aircraft flights, while improving year-round access for local residents.

The selection of Option 1 for the module transfer staging area has the least impact on wildlife and requires fewer miles of ice roads.

Protecting the Environment

ConocoPhillips is committed to protecting the environment and rigorously implements environmental standards to help protect ecosystems, support habitat conservation, and minimize the footprint of our operations while supporting the communities where we operate.

We have an excellent track record and more than 40-year history of operating responsibly on the North Slope. We have a commitment to protecting the environment, aquatic resources, and wildlife wherever we operate. With the Willow development, we will continue to advance our ability to reach oil reservoirs with a minimized surface footprint.

The Willow EIS is being conducted under the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan (IAP) published in 2013 under the Obama Administration, which was widely supported by environmental groups.

New NPR-A developments are currently subject to best practices and mitigation measures, which are required by local and federal entities and have evolved over the last 20 years. The Willow project will be subject to all these practices, which are crafted to protect wildlife and other important resources.

Subsistence. Alternative B, with gravel road access to the production facility and the drill sites, would provide hunters improved access to subsistence resources through use of its gravel roads to reach areas farther west in NPR-A that are currently only accessible via snow machine and four-wheelers. It causes the least impact to local hunting grounds and minimizes air traffic, both concerns of subsistence hunters. The existing best management practices, mitigation measures and NPR-A mitigation fund programs as outlined in the draft EIS provide protection for subsistence activities.

Data collected since ConocoPhillips first started Alpine Field development in the Colville River Delta shows that the subsistence lifestyle is thriving with harvests equal to or greater than before Alpine.

Air Quality. For decades, ConocoPhillips has monitored air quality in and around many North Slope oil fields, and in the case of Alpine, before the field came online. Our measurements show that the air quality of the North Slope, at all locations, meets national ambient air quality standards. The air monitoring stations measure temperature, wind speed, wind direction and concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and ozone.

In 2014, we started collecting monthly samples for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) based on input from the village of Nuiqsut. Sampling has shown very few detections of VOCs and concentrations in Nuiqsut and Alpine are well below EPA, NIOSH, and OSHA standards and screening levels. The results of all the air monitoring are openly shared with the Nuiqsut tribal, municipal and corporate entities; the North Slope Borough Health Department; and state and federal environmental agencies.

Environmental Studies. ConocoPhillips continues to sponsor environmental studies to better understand everything from air quality, hydrology and archeology to mammal and fish populations. Many studies are carried out cooperatively, working with government agencies and stakeholders to assess and monitor the ecosystems where we operate.

Robust Nuiqsut/Stakeholder Engagement

ConocoPhillips has been operating near Nuiqsut for more than 18 years and works hard to collaborate with residents to address concerns as they surface.

ConocoPhillips engages with the village of Nuiqsut and other North Slope stakeholders on a regular basis to provide information pertaining to the future Willow Development. To date in 2019, we have held more than 30 meetings specifically on the Willow project.

Nuiqsut subsistence harvests have remained at or above previous levels during the time that ConocoPhillips has been operating near the village, and the community maintains a robust subsistence lifestyle with strong community participation.

Social and Economic Benefits

The BLM estimates the Willow project could generate more than $10 billion in federal, state, and North Slope Borough revenue.

Fifty percent of federal revenues from the NPR-A, including royalty revenue from Willow, is available to communities impacted by oil and gas development through the NPR-A Mitigation Grant Program.

The Willow Development could provide benefits to local and state economies through Alaska-based recruitment for jobs created during engineering, fabrication, construction, drilling and operations. The project could provide more than two thousand construction jobs, hundreds of permanent jobs and thousands more indirect jobs. Estimated peak winter season manpower requirements are for more than 2,000 workers with more than 300 permanent positions after start-up.

Construction will provide significant employment opportunities for Alaskans and Alaska businesses. Almost 88 percent of all ConocoPhillips Alaska spending for goods, services and transportation in 2017-totaling about $1.2 billion-went to more than 840 Alaska-based companies.

Additional oil and gas exploration and production will help keep a key piece of U.S. infrastructure, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, economically viable.