BP suspends massive Liberty Project in Alaska

BP has indefinitely suspended a $1.5 billion offshore oil project in Alaska due to cost overruns and technical setbacks, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

An 18-month company review concluded that the Liberty project, a field with about 100 million barrels of recoverable oil, should not go forward as planned, said Dawn Patience with BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.

“We are not going to pursue Liberty in its present form,” said Patience. “The project, as it’s designed right now, doesn’t meet BP’s standards.”

Under plans submitted five years ago to regulators, Liberty would have been the first oil field located entirely in Federal waters offshore Alaska. Back then, BP expected production to begin in 2011.

A BP review found that Liberty — slated to produce 40,000 barrels a day — would have cost “a lot more” than the $1.5 billion BP had planned to spend there and would have taken several additional years to begin production, Patience said.

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