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Trans Alaska Pipeline Outage Curbs State Output 26% in January

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Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- A shutdown of the Trans Alaska pipeline for almost two weeks in January curbed Alaskan oil production 26 percent from the previous month.

The system, which carries around 11 percent of U.S. crude production, was shut on Jan. 8 after a leak was discovered, forcing BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp., to cut output in the world’s largest oil-consuming nation.

Production averaged 481,338 barrels a day for the month, down from 652,064 in December, according to the Alaska Tax Division. Output fell to 34,703 barrels on Jan. 10 as the shutdown cut crude supply to Flint Hills Resources LLC’s North Pole refinery, then climbed to 656,155 on Jan. 30.

The 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) system started Jan. 17 after a bypass around a leak at Pump Station 1 was installed. Inventories dropped below 500,000 barrels during the outage, raising speculation that West Coast refineries would be forced to find alternative sources of crude.

The pipeline runs from Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the U.S.

Alaska production has declined every year since 2002, U.S. Energy Department figures show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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