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Polar Tankers to build fourth millennium class ship

Polar Tankers Inc., the Long Beach, Calif.-based shipping unit for Phillips Petroleum Co. subsidiary Phillips Alaska Inc., plans to build a fourth millennium-class tanker to carry crude oil from Alaska to the US West Coast and Hawaii. The fourth ship contract is valued at $197 million.

The millennium-class tankers are the first new crude oil carriers built specifically for the Alaskan trade in compliance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The tankers meet or exceed existing and proposed environmental regulations. The first of the four Millennium Class tankers, the Polar Endeavor, will enter the Alaska trade in early 2001.

The decision to build a fourth such tanker for the Alaska trade reflects Phillips' plan to increase its Alaska production from a current level of 350,000 boe/d to 375,000 to 400,000 boe/d, said Kevin Meyers, president of Phillips Alaska Inc. �The start-up of the Alpine field later this year will increase Phillips� net production by 50,000 b/d of oil. And with our plans to drill 12-15 exploration wells this winter, Phillips is clearly excited about Alaska�s future.�

The 125,000 dwt crude oil tankers feature double hulls, twin engine rooms, twin propellers, twin rudders, and a sophisticated navigation and control system. New Orleans-based Litton/Avondale Industries Inc. will build the tankers.

The new ship, yet to be named, will enter service in early 2004. Her sister ships, the Polar Resolution and the Polar Discovery, will be delivered during the first quarters of 2002 and 2003.

Polar Tankers' fleet consists of five vessels ranging in size from 50,000 to 265,000 dwt. All of the ships are employed in the Alaska crude trade.

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