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Alaskan oil production declines

Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:01 AM   |   Comments

JUNEAU, Alaska, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Crude oil production in Alaska fell nearly 5 percent, extending a steady production decline that began eight years ago, state tax data indicate.

The U.S. Energy Department and reports from the Alaska Department of Revenue indicate oil production in Alaska is declining. Output from new developments in the state isn't enough to offset declining production from existing wells, Bloomberg News reports.

The state found that December oil production averaged 622,355 barrels per day, a 4.6 percent decline compared with the previous year. Oil production in Alaska peaked in 1988 with slightly more than 2 million barrels of oil produced per day, state figures indicate.

Most of the oil production in the state comes from the Prudhoe Bay area and is shipped through the Trans Alaska pipeline to ports at Valdez.

Last month, three companies won rights to explore and develop oil and natural gas on more than 141,000 acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The sale follows an agreement from ConocoPhillips for a proposal to build a pipeline and access road into the NPR-A, the first such development for the area. The U.S. Interior Department said that development would encourage the exploration of the 23 million-acre reserve.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates Alaska has as much as 896 million barrels of oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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