The native village of Nuiqsut (pronounced new-ix-sut) is experiencing a boom in local business.
This icy pocket in Alaska’s North Slope, population 500 or so, sits 250 miles above the Arctic Circle and hosts the Kuukik Hotel—a chain of trailers with the town’s only restaurant. While you might manage to grab a seat these days for the Sunday night prime rib, don’t bother trying to score an overnight room there. The Kuukik is booked for the foreseeable future.
Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news from ConocoPhillips, which received the greenlight March 14th for its $8 billion Willow project 35 miles from Nuiqsut. Literally hours after that approval, the company mobilized in the National Petroleum Reserve to start construction in one of the world’s most hostile terrains—but one it knows like the back of its gloved hand.
Efforts will be massive to build a crude oil installation that is expected to mirror Conoco’s nearby Alpine—from a gravel mining site and ice roads to an air strip, pipelines, a processing plant, and supporting facilities that will require 2,500 workers. Willow will comprise 199 wells with three core pads estimated to produce a peak 180 MBPD and a whopping 600 MMBbls over 30 years. First production is expected in 2029. ConocoPhillips is Alaska’s largest oil producer with 1.6 million net undeveloped acres.