Alaska's oil crossroads: lucrative OCS prize and TAPS pipeline fuse

Shipments through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, capacity 2.1 million b/d, peaked at 2,032,928 b/d in 1988. Throughput in 2013 is estimated at 514,994 b/d. Operational difficulties increase considerably below 550,000 b/d, and operational feasibility is questionable at or below 350,000 b/d. Steven R. Kopits Douglas-Westwood LLC New York City Alaska's oil business faces an uncertain future. Alaskan production, principally from giant Prudhoe Bay field and shipped south through the trans-Alaska pipeline, began in 1977 and peaked in 1988 at just under 2 million b/d (Fig. 1). It has been in decline in all but 2 years ever since, with production falling by half every 12 years. For 2013, produ...

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