7.0 Earthquake Strikes Southern Alaska, Pipeline Shut Down
$USO, $OIL, $COP, $MCP
A magnitude 7.0 eEarthquake struck Alaska early Friday, shutting the state’s most important Crude Oil pipeline and potentially threatening Crude Oil exports.
The temblor struck 13 kilometers north of Anchorage.
The Alaska pipeline that carries Crude Oil from the Arctic coast to the marine terminal in Valdez was shut as a precaution, spokeswoman for Alyeska, said by phone. He said she wasn’t aware of any damage to the line, which transported 530,000 bbl Thursday, but said there is not yet a timeline on restart.
Alaska produced 494,000 BPD last year, with most of it sent down the Alaska pipeline to Valdez, where it’s shipped out by tanker, usually to US West Coast refineries. No tankers were at the terminal when the quake struck and “everything is fine down there,”
Alaskan Crude Oil production began to rise 2 years ago after almost three decades of declines from a peak of more than 2-M BPD in Y 1988, according to US Energy Department data. The state was the 6th largest oil producer in the US in September down from 3rd last year. It trailed Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota, states that have experienced a boom in shale fracking in the past decade.
The recent uptick in production came amid new investments along the arctic coast and a push by President Donald Trump to expand drilling in the state. The Trump Administration is moving to expand the territory open for oil exploration in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, a process that could shift drilling rigs closer to herds of caribou and flocks of threatened birds.
In October, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) received approval to develop its Greater Mooses Tooth 2 project just a week after announcing the 1st production from the Greater Mooses Tooth 1 development.