Alaska Oil Output Drops Significantly as North Slope Production Declines

Alaska crude-oil production dropped 11 percent in June from a year earlier, the largest drop in almost a year, after Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., operator of the cross-state pipeline system, conducted maintenance and as output from wells declined.

Production averaged 516,871 barrels a day last month, down from 581,297 a year earlier, the biggest decline since output fell 15 percent from July 2010 to July 2011, the state Department of Revenue said on its website. The pipeline delivered 570,770 barrels a day in May.

Production peaked for the month at 592,381 barrels on June 12 and fell to a low of 380,893 on June 2, when crews scheduled valve testing.

“Any fluctuations in throughput are due to planned maintenance,” Michelle Egan, a spokeswoman at Alyeska, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Output on the 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) Trans-Alaska crude system has declined annually since 2002 as falling yield from existing wells hasn’t been replaced, according to the state tax division. Crude-oil output from Prudhoe Bay averaged 305,132 barrels per day in June, down from 324,919 in May, the state said.

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Photo Credit: Arthur Chapman