As we have for decades, ConocoPhillips continues to sponsor environmental studies to better understand everything from air quality, hydrology and archeology to mammal and fish populations. Many studies are carried out cooperatively, working with local communities, government agencies and stakeholders to assess and monitor the ecosystems where we operate. In 2014, we engaged more than 60 scientists to conduct a wide range of studies on topics like ocean acoustics, tundra vegetation, mammals, birds and fish. Our ongoing world class research programs help us understand the environment and identify better ways to protect it.

Working with federal, state and local regulators, as well as local communities, we routinely develop and conduct multi-year baseline environmental studies programs including:

  • Annual hydrological surveys within important watersheds such as the Colville River delta;
  • Lake surveys to document water quality and quantity and usage by various fish species;
  • Stream surveys to document the distribution and abundance of fish species;
  • Archaeological surveys to ensure we avoid culturally significant sites or artifacts;
  • Annual wildlife surveys to document the distribution and abundance of terrestrial mammals and avian species; and
  • Vegetation mapping surveys to understand how key wildlife species use certain habitats.

Continuing the practice of conducting baseline studies ahead of development, and in cooperation with Shell, ConocoPhillips designed and operated a two-year integrated marine ecosystem studies program over Chukchi Sea leases in 2008 and 2009, to understand baseline conditions prior to exploration drilling. 

In 2014, ConocoPhillips and its collaborators completed the final year of the seven-year ecosystem level study in the Chukchi Sea. The program has leveraged tens of millions of dollars by working cooperatively with other operators, universities, research institutions, local, state and federal governments, residents and local stakeholders. The publication and sharing of the study results contributes significant information to the understanding of ecosystems of the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf.


Per a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), data collected as part of the Chukchi Sea Environmental Studies Program will be housed on the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) website at . Copies of study plans and reports are available at