Exxon Valdez Oil Disaster 15 Years Later

With all the great speakers and presentations at the USAEE /IAEE North American Conference in Anchorage this week, it’s hard to pick and choose among so many well-expressed ideas. Our USAEE updates represent just a few of our favorite quotes from the ongoing events. 

Alaska’s oil output has been falling steadily over the past several years, attributed by observers to the state’s fiscal regime, the high cost of production, restrictions on exploration and development of federal land, and various combinations of those and other factors.

As Alaska’s oil output has declined, smaller production volumes fed through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System have created technical challenges for the pipeline’s operator, Alyeska. And falling production poses a completely separate challenge for the state, which relies heavily on oil revenues for funding.

 “This is a challenge for us, but it’s also an economic challenge,” said US Coast Guard (Ret.) Admiral Tom Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service company. “I think it’s been masked by the increase in [oil] prices. So oil production has been going down pretty steadily up here, but not breaking the budget of the state of Alaska, which has been going steadily up. And that’s about to have a train wreck at some point.”