Shale could revitalize Alaskan oil

July 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 2 (UPI) -- Oil developed from shale deposits in the North Slope of Alaska could eventually find its way into the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system, a company said.

Ed Duncan, president of independent energy company Great Bear Petroleum, told the Platts news service it aimed to conduct tests in shale oil deposits in the North Slope of Alaska.

"Our plan is to drill four wells this year and we believe we can achieve at least three," he said.

Oil production in Alaska peaked in 1988 with slightly more than 2 million barrels of oil produced per day, state figures indicate.

Duncan's company said oil produced from shale deposits in the North Slope could be shipped by truck to Prudhoe Bay and later sent through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system.

The pipeline has an expected service life of 10 years given anticipated declines in oil flows from the state.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated there were as much as 2 billion barrels of oil and 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in onshore shale resources in Alaska's North Slope.

The U.S. government announced plans last week to hold an eventual lease for oil and gas prospects in the arctic waters off the state's coast.

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