Murkowski: More oil needed from Alaska

June 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM

WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- A report showing flow-rate problems from an Alaskan oil pipeline suggests there's a pressing need to open areas for exploration, a U.S. senator said.

A so-called low-flow impact study produced by Alyeska Pipeline Co. found the Trans Alaska Pipeline has an expected service life of 10 years given anticipated declines in oil flows from the state.

The report from the pipeline manager suggested the pipeline can operate with a daily capacity of 350,000 barrels per day, but anything less may be unpractical.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a statement the report is a clear indicator that more parts of her state should be opened to oil and gas exploration.

"This is why I have been pushing so aggressively to remove the federal roadblocks that have delayed development in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and offshore in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas," she said. "We cannot afford to let the pipeline die from the federal government's neglect."

Some U.S. lawmakers are pressing for more access to domestic resources on the premise that it would create more jobs and diminish dependence on foreign oil.

Environmental groups worry about the consequences of potential disasters in arctic waters, a concern exacerbated by last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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