Oil production in Alaska’s North Slope dropped 6.6 percent in February from a year earlier as output at existing wells declined and BP Plc did maintenance on wells in the Endicott and Lisburne fields.
Production averaged 570,983 barrels a day last month, down from 611,165 in February 2012, the state tax division said on its website today. January output was 576,991 barrels a day.
BP Plc performed planned work last month in the Lisburne and Endicott fields, Dawn Patience, a company spokeswoman in Anchorage, said by e-mail. The maintenance at Endicott will “continue into March,” she said.
Alaska’s North Slope has been yielding less oil every year since 2002 as output from wells naturally declines and isn’t replaced. The shrinking supply boosted foreign crude imports to the U.S. West Coast and prompted Flint Hills Resources LLC to shut a crude unit at the North Pole refinery last year because of rising oil prices.
Output from Endicott averaged 9,613 barrels a day in February, compared with 11,648 a year earlier. Production from the Lisburne field was down 27 percent.
Inventories of the feedstock at the Valdez marine terminal, the northernmost ice-free port in North America, averaged 4.4 million barrels last month, ranging from a high of 5.7 million on Feb. 24 to a low of 3.42 million on Feb. 1, according to the tax division.
Several California refineries, including BP Plc’s Carson plant and Chevron Corp.’s El Segundo site, performed planned repairs on production units last month. California relies on Alaska for about 12 percent of its crude feedstock, according to the state Energy Commission.
Alaska North Slope crude prices declined 3.3 percent in February, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The fuel’s premium to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was unchanged at $16.25 a barrel at 12:16 p.m. New York time.