January 04, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 2January 2002

North Slope production up 2.4 percent in December

Alaska North Slope crude production averaged 1.069 million barrels a day in December, up 2.4 percent from an average 1.044 million barrels a day in November, driven by increases at Northstar, Kuparuk and Prudhoe. The Department of Revenue attributed the boost in production to cooler December temperatures, which averaged minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit at Pump Station No. 1, compared to a plus 3.3 degree F average temperature in November.

The North Slope's newest fields contributed an average of some 129,000 barrels per day in December, almost 12 percent of ANS production. Northstar, which began production in November, averaged 29,407 bpd in December, compared to 11,498 bpd in its first month. Alpine, which began production in November 2000, averaged 99,600 bpd in December compared to 101,453 bpd in November.

Production from the Kuparuk River field (which includes West Sak, Tabasco, Tarn and Meltwater) averaged 221,249 bpd in December, up 2 percent from an average of 216,961 bpd November and Prudhoe Bay (which includes Midnight Sun, Aurora and Polaris) averaged 555,028 bpd in December, up 1.5 percent from an average of 547,075 bpd in November.

Production from the Milne Point field (which includes Schrader Bluff and Sag River) dropped 3.8 percent, averaging 52,985 bpd in December compared to 55,086 bpd in November. Endicott (which includes Sag Delta, Eider and Badami) averaged 32,820 bpd in December, down 2.6 percent from a November average of 33,681 bpd. And Lisburne (which includes Point McIntyre, Niakuk, West Beach and North Prudhoe State) averaged 77,990 bpd in December, down 0.4 percent from a November average of 78,292 bpd.

Cook Inlet production averaged 37,504 bpd, up 9.8 percent from a November average of 34,143 bpd, and Prudhoe Bay natural gas liquids averaged 51,037 bpd, up 0.3 percent from a November average of 50,894 bpd.

Williams has kerosene spill at North Pole refinery

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said Jan. 3 that Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc. had an estimated 2,000 gallon spill of a mixture of kerosene and residual crude oil. The spill was discovered at 2:29 a.m. Jan. 3 at Williams refinery crude unit No. 1 at North Pole.

DEC said Williams was transferring off-spec kerosene from crude unit No. 1 to their "slop" tank for eventual reinjection into the trans-Alaska pipeline system. The high-point vent in a new line running to the slop tank was accidentally left open, causing the release.

Within 45 minutes of the spill, a vacuum truck collected approximately 1,500 gallons of the kerosene mixture pooled on the frozen ground. DEC said an excavator and hand tools were being used to recover the residual contamination.

A gravel pad and some grasses were affected. DEC said it will discuss a sampling plan with Williams as the immediate cleanup nears completion.

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