Conoco halts Western North Slope pipeline replacement project
Click here to go to the full PDF version of this issue, with any maps, photos or other artwork that appears in
some of the articles.
ConocoPhillips Alaska has paused its Western North Slope Service Pipeline Replacement project, on which the company planned to start work in November in preparation for new oil coming from its Willow development in 2025.
“Due to the pending litigation on Willow, COPA will not be moving forward with the WNS Service Pipeline Replacement Project as proposed in the ADOG and SPCO applications,” Rebecca Boys, ConocoPhillips Alaska’s director of media and advertising, told Petroleum News in an Oct. 5 email.
“However, the ADOG permit provides COPA flexibility should the project be redefined and progressed at a later date,” she added.
The pending litigation Boys was referring to was an Aug. 18, Federal District Court of Alaska decision that upheld appeals challenging the validity of the environmental impact statement and the associated polar bear biological opinion for the Willow oil field, preventing ConocoPhillips from starting any on-the-ground work in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska until the Bureau of Land Management reworked and approved the EIS, and the Fish and Wildlife Service reworked the associated biological opinion.
In a Sept. 21 market update, ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance said Willow remained very competitive in the company’s portfolio: “We’re still focused on moving the project forward when we have the ability to go do that.”
Expanding westThe Oct. 2 issue of Petroleum News carried a story titled “Preparing to head west to Willow, beyond” about the approval of two pad expansions on state land filed Aug. 2 by the company with the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas.
The story addressed ConocoPhillips’ continued move west on Alaska’s North Slope to Willow and other oil fields in the petroleum reserve. The pad expansions would have added space to accommodate new modules and equipment.
Applied for as amendments to plans of operations for both pads, the company was approved to expand Kuparuk’s Central Processing Facility 2 pad and Colville River’s Miscible Injection/Gas Injection pad north of CD4.
Work was expected to begin Nov. 1 and be completed by June 30, 2024, ConocoPhillips said in its application to the division.
The WNS Service Pipeline Replacement project components were being permitted separately with the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Office.
The project included replacing the existing Alpine 12-inch utility pipeline with a new 20-inch pipeline to transport seawater from CPF2 to the MIGI pad on a new pipe rack. A new 4-inch products pipeline was also to be installed to transport diesel and other products from CPF2 to the Colville River unit’s Alpine Central Processing Facility on a spare slot on the existing Alpine sales oil pipe rack.
- KAY CASHMAN