Major Alaskan Oil Field Shutting Down
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - In a sudden blow to the nation's oil supply, half the production on Alaska's North Slope was being shut down Sunday after BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. discovered severe corrosion in a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line.And yes, this is not a short term problem as BP announced that it will have to replace 16 of the 22 miles of the pipeline or 73%.
Once the field is shut down, in a process expected to take days, BP said oil production will be reduced by 400,000 barrels a day. That's close to 8 percent of U.S. oil production as of May 2006 or about 2.6 percent of U.S. supply including imports, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The shutdown comes at an already worrisome time for the oil industry, with supply concerns stemming both from the hurricane season and instability in the Middle East.
While this spells increased prices for all of us, the price of crude is already up 3%, Alaska will really be hurt.
A prolonged shutdown would be a major blow to domestic oil production, but even a short one could be crippling to Alaska's economy.In order to protect Republicans from even higher gas prices in November....
According to forecast figures from the Alaska Department of Revenue, a 400,000 barrels of oil per day production drop would mean approximately $4.6 million per day lost to the state. That is money going to both the state treasury and the state's oil wealth savings account, the Alaska Permanent Fund.
"That starts adding up to big bucks in a hurry," said House Finance Co-Chairman Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski. "It could start having a disastrous effect on the state as early as today."
.....the Energy Department is prepared to provide oil from the government's emergency supplies if a refinery requests it. Spokesman Craig Stevens said the department will be in contact with BP and West Coast refiners later Monday to assess the situation.