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Special News Bulletin

“As production slows, the North Slope pipeline could shut down.”

Alaska’s Ebbing Oil

On June 7, 2011, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial under the headline “Alaska’s Ebbing Oil.” It suggested that an ongoing campaign seeking to limit oil exploration and production in Alaska has, as its ultimate goal, the complete shutdown and dismantling of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Shut Down the Pipeline?

The pipeline has the capacity to carry over 2 million barrels a day, and it did just that under peak production. Most days, however, it moves only 1/4 of what it could (follow @AlyeskaPipeline on Twitter for daily throughput). Pipelines are engineered to carry an optimum volume of fluid… below a certain threshold, it’s no longer practical to send oil down the pipe — the fluid dynamics just don’t work out.

What the Journal piece notes is that new exploration and development is being systematically quashed, seemingly in an attempt to ensure that there won’t be enough oil to keep the pipeline operating..

What would a shutdown mean?

Can you imagine an Alaska without the Pipeline? You’ve seen that the petroleum industry accounts for almost 1/3 of all jobs in our state. Can you imagine an America without the Pipeline? Every day we hear calls for an energy policy that makes us independent of foreign oil, and yet we quash development of domestic resources here in Alaska.

What can you do?

This is a topic that all Alaskans should be aware of. If you care about the future of your state’s economy, share this information with friends, family, and co-workers. We should all be talking about how Alaskan oil exploration and production affects our day-to-day lives, and the future of Alaska’s Economy.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline helped to make Alaska the state that it is today. Shutting it down through subterfuge and delaying tactics won’t help us to chart a course to tomorrow’s economy. It will only lead Alaska down a path that no one wants to follow.