Alaska Oil Pipeline Boosts Flow, Stocks Replenishing
Oil supply from the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, which carries about 11 percent of U.S. crude production, has increased to its highest rate since Jan. 7, the day before a leak shut the line.
The system operated at an average rate of about 566,000 barrels a day during the past 24-hour period, Matt Carle, a spokesman for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., the crude pipeline’s operator, said in an e-mail today.
The 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) system was transporting 525,000 barrels a day yesterday, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. said in a joint statement with state regulators. The pipeline started Jan. 17, after a bypass around a pump-station leak was installed.
“Oil continues to move smoothly through the pipeline,” Alyeska said in the statement. The volume matches what producers pumped in, indicating there’s no leak, it said.
Crude futures in New York rose 4 percent last week, the most in six weeks, after the pipeline’s closure Jan. 8 forced BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. to cut supplies in the world’s largest oil-consuming nation.
The pipeline runs from Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the U.S.
Crude stockpiles in Alaska, the biggest U.S. state, were 832,620 barrels as of Jan. 18, after dropping as much as 85 percent from Jan. 7, the day before the disruption, according to the state revenue department’s website.
The U.S. produced 5.58 million barrels a day of crude and held 333.1 million barrels in commercial storage in the week ended Jan. 7, Energy Department data showed. Stockpiles probably fell 500,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
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