The Trans-Alaska pipeline is a key component in Alaska’s – and America’s – energy infrastructure. However, the pipeline is requiring additional oil from the Arctic in order to maintain its flow and sustain Alaska’s economy.
In a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., wrote: “I’ve seen firsthand how essential the pipeline is to Alaska’s economy. One third of all jobs in the state are tied to the oil and gas industry, and oil companies are, by far, the largest contributors to state revenues.”
Barrett noted that the draft 2017 – 2022 offshore leasing programme under the Obama administration is necessary for the pipeline. The programme specifies the “size,timing and location of possible leasing activity that the interior secretary determines best meets the energy needs of the nation.” Barrett continued to state that, while the Trans-Alaska pipeline in its peak transported approximately 2 million bpd, now the line transports closer to 530 000 bpd. Nevertheless, the Arctic has an abundance of onshore, offshore and nearshore oil reserves that are waiting to be tapped.
He concluded: “Without new production, [the Trans-Alaska pipeline] must continue operations in conditions it wasn’t originally designed to handle. Lower pipeline throughput means oil moves more slowly, cooling over time and creating challenges with wax, water and ice buildup. Although Alaskans continue to devise safe and innovative solutions to move the oil from matured fields every day, the best long-term solution lies in the billions of barrels of oil that are nearby and can be responsibly produced.”
And now, The Bureau of Land Management intends to conduct an environmental review in regards to a newly proposed oil and gas production well. The well will sit within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), which spans 23 million acres on the North Slope.
Governor Bill Walker stated: "I am pleased the Bureau of Land Management will begin its environmental review of ConocoPhillips' proposed oil and gas development of Greater Mooses Tooth 2 project. With the Trans-Alaska pipeline three quarters empty, I am committed to working with our federal partners to spur production."
Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/01082016/trans-alaska-pipeline-needs-more-oil/