GAO DISPUTES DOE FINDINGS ON POSSIBLE TIMING OF TAPS SHUTDOWN

The U.S. General Accounting Office has disagreed with a 1991 Department of Energy analysis that argued Congress should allow drilling on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska's North Slope by 1997 to keep the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) in operation. The DOE study said the production decline from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field will force TAPS to shut down by 2000. DOE's 1997 leasing deadline assumed industry would require 10-12 years to develop oil fields on ANWR.

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