Alaska Business Monthly: The Willow discovery in the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit of NPR-A was welcome news in January. What can you tell us about ConocoPhillips Alaska's investment in this field and the development timeline?
Joe Marushack: We are excited about this significant new oil discovery in northeast NPR-A. We have well, production, and seismic data that provide a solid technical foundation confirming Willow is a discovery with development potential. Willow is also close to existing infrastructure, which helps improve its economic viability. Our initial estimates are that there could be recoverable resource potential in excess of 300 million barrels of oil. This winter we began appraising the discovery using 3D seismic. We're still working on various development scenarios, but assuming timely permit approvals, competitive project economics, and a competitive state tax framework, initial production could occur as early as 2024.
ABM: Greater Mooses Tooth Unit discoveries are expected to add oil into TAPS. How much and how soon?
Marushack: We'll be evaluating appraisal results and working on various development scenarios, but we're estimating that Willow could produce up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. Development options include building a stand-alone production facility or processing production through the Alpine Central Facility. The highest production rate scenario assumes a standalone facility.
ABM: Where is the company's next big exploration project on the North Slope?
Marushack: As a follow up to the Willow discovery, ConocoPhillips and its bidding partner, Anadarko, were successful in December's federal lease sale on the western North Slope, winning sixty-five tracts for a total of 594,972 gross acres. ConocoPhillips independently was successful in December's state lease sale on the western North Slope, winning seventy-four tracts for a total of 142,280 gross acres. The acreage we acquired in the two lease sales will provide us the opportunity to pursue geological play types that have led to other discoveries in the area.
ABM: ConocoPhillips has a reputation for sustainable development and collaboration with North Slope stakeholders. How is the CD5 development an example of this?
Marushack: To me, the CD5 project represents what ConocoPhillips does really well in Alaska--finding good projects, beating difficult odds with patience and perseverance, collaborating with key stakeholders to reach consensus on solutions, and planning...