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Oil project in Alaska from ConocoPhillips on hold by federal judge

Alaska oil project ConocoPhillips

A major oil project in Alaska from ConocoPhillips is now on hold, after a federal judge ruled to stop it, as its environmental impacts had not yet been fully considered.

Firstly, the company was about to start gravel mining and gravel-road construction at its Willow project, in Alaska’s North Slope. Then federal judge from the U.S. District Court, Sharon Gleason, issued an order on Saturday to stop the company from doing that.

Willow oil project

Secondly, the Willow project has an estimated capacity of 590 million barrels of oil, also with a potential to produce 160,000 barrels per day. Indeed, it will be the westernmost operating oilfield in the area, according to Reuters.

In addition, the company planned the first barrel of oil produced from Willow, as nearly as 2024. Also, the company had intended to start blasting the gravel on February 12.

On the other hand, the judge’s issue order came in response to an environmental lawsuit which claimed the Trump administration had failed in assessing Willow’s impacts on the environment. In fact, environmental groups had already requested an injunction to the project, but the judge denied it.

oil project Alaska ConocoPhillips

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Oil project from ConocoPhillips on hold until February 20

Consequently, this new order stops company’s works in the area at least until February 20; which also gives the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals time to assess the project as it should be. Still, the issue by judge Gleason does not stop the company from constructing seasonal ice roads.

According to the news agency, the Biden administration is reviewing all of the oil policies from the Trump era; including also the Willow’s permit.

If revoked, this wouldn’t be the first time the Biden administration and its officials stop a major oil project from being executed. As we reported previously, on its first day in office, back in January 20, Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL project.

In conclusion, Rebecca Boys, ConocoPhillips spokeswoman said that the company wouldn’t comment about an ongoing litigation.  

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