Biden Administration Approves Huge Alaska Oil Project

Wondering if these barrels will spur any US newbuilding to supply US West Coast refineries, or will Conoco be exporting these barrels to China

or Ukraine

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China, Ukraine or anywhere else, does it matter?

If the oil is exported anywhere it is highly unlikely to require additional US built tankers.

of course - just wondering if there will be any political pressure to limit export on these bbls. Waiting for the " we are going to drill in Alaska to send to china - outrage", Jones Act lobby seeing a payday, " this is American oil for Americans " - that kind of stuff

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There’s no indication this oil is going to be exported. Biden hasn’t said why he has decided to allow drilling. On his campaign trail, he promised to ban all new oil drilling on federal land.
He just broke that promise by approving one the largest ever drilling projects on that land. Politicians can’t be trusted to keep campaign promises but as broken promises go, this one was a cornerstone of his energy policy so it does beg the question why.

not sure this is on federal land or not - did read that Conoco has held these leases for some time

"The decision represents a clear reversal of Biden’s 2020 campaign promise to end the approval of new oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters.”

From here: Democrats See Betrayal of Biden’s Climate Promise

From USA Today:

The Biden administration was limited by legal restraints in reviewing the Willow oil project, according to a White House official who said the company had valid rights on the land because of decades-old leases.

The administration was convinced the courts would have blocked an outright rejection of the Willow project and potentially imposed fines on the government, said the official, who spoke about the White House’s considerations on the condition of anonymity.

What a crazy notion… Who on earth would think THAT might be a good idea?

yea sure we will be hearing about imminent danger of all the substandard, poorly trained, foreign crews that will be transiting the pristine waters of Prince William Sound before too long.


On federal land, but you’re correct, it’s not a new lease. In exchange, I heard they also agreed to give up a huge amount of their other leases.

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There hasn’t been any drilling yet so who knows if there will be anything there?
Has even detailed seismic been shot yet?

Besides, even IF anything is found, who knows if the crude oil there will be suitable for the refineries on the USWC?
Oil is an international commodity it is not uncommon for oil produced one place to be exported to somewhere else, while crude oil suitable for local refineries are imported.

If the oil found there should be unsuitable for the USWC but right for the Gulf coast it MAY be cheaper to export the Alaskan oil and import for the Gulf refiners.

Maybe better to wait and see what happens when they get to drill (if ever)?

you are just taking all the fun out of speculating !!!

Refineries can be retooled…what’s cheapest/in the best interests of refiners shouldn’t trump (small t) what is in the best interest of the country…OUR country. And supplying china with US oil is most certainly NOT in the best interest of our country.

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Conoco has held the lease since the 1990s and has been fighting an expensive battle to commence drilling since then…pretty sure they know exactly what’s down there.


Even with the lates 4D Seismic Survey you don’t KNOW what’s down there.
Until the first well has been drilled, logged and tested it is prospects, projections and a bit of “guesswork” and “luck”.
Admittedly the accuracy of both aerial and ground survey has improved dramatically since the wildcatting days when certainty of a find was when “oil hit the crown”:

PS> There are still drywells being drilled, though.

Yes they can, but at what cost? Who will ultimately pay the bill?

I was of the impression that you were a true blue “Capitalist”, believing in a free market, where competition and market forces fixed all problems.

No, I’m not. It’s the job of government to set rules and regulations for capitalism to operate within that are in the best interest of OUR country (in theory). Doesn’t always work that way unfortunately. Hoping to not get screwed on this deal as well.

Realistically? The poor schmuck consumer of course. The bill for new and upgraded refineries should be paid by the oil companies that made record profits while the consumer shouldered the cost of heating and driving and increased prices for any product that could in any way be linked to anything having to do with petroleum. The explanation for record high consumer oil prices was “covid” or some pandemic related fairy tale. So, if oil prices were so high, how in Hell did oil company profits reach record levels? There is no other bunch of capitalists on the planet better equipped to hide or redefine profits than oil companies so it is beyond argument that if they had to report record profits they were damn near drowning in the cash they scammed out of consumers. Either tax them at 99 percent or more for windfall profits or allow them to avoid that tax by building new refineries. They can afford it.

What is your recommendation on how to calculate that? Also, what about the windfall loss in 2020? Can they get a credit for that?

Kind of a dangerous road to go down to start punishing companies for being successful.

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I think they already got a “credit” for that … the taxes they don’t pay comes out of the pockets of people who work for paychecks and pay their taxes every payday.

Exxon annual gross profit for 2022 was $114.193B, a 77.87% increase from 2021. Exxon annual gross profit for 2021 was $64.202B, a 107.49% increase from 2020. Exxon annual gross profit for 2020 was $30.942B…