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December 14, 2011 --- Vol. 17, No. 106December 2011

Revenue fall forecast sees production below 600,000 bpd this fiscal year

The Alaska Department of Revenue’s fall forecast, released today, shows a sharp decrease in forecast production compared to the spring forecast, with Alaska North Slope crude oil volumes dropping below 600,000 barrels per day beginning in the current fiscal year, 2012. In the spring forecast, Revenue was projecting production of more than 600,000 bpd through fiscal year 2017.

Production is projected to average 574,000 bpd for FY 2012, dropping below the 500,000 bpd mark in FY 2020.

In his cover letter to the governor, Revenue Commissioner Bryan Butcher said North Slope production declined 6.3 percent in fiscal year 2011 and a decline of another 4.7 percent is expected in FY 2012, “assuming that the oil production included in the ‘under development’ and ‘under evaluation’ layers of our production forecast come to fruition.”

Without those layers, the FY 2012 decline could be as high as 9.1 percent, he said. For FY 2012, Revenue shows 26,000 bpd under development and 1,000 bpd under evaluation.

In a press release on the forecast Butcher said, “Alaska’s revenue outlook is strong and relatively stable this year due mostly to continued high oil prices,” but warned of the impacts of steadily declining oil production.

New oil is a crucial part of the department’s ANS forecast, accounting for 4.6 percent in FY 2012 and rising steeply to 47.2 percent of ANS production in FY 2021.

Butcher contrasted production forecasts by Revenue in fall 2007, shortly after the passages of ACES, or Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, when Revenue was projecting “that ANS production in 2012 would be 675,000 barrels per day. Four years later our production forecast has changed, with 100,000 fewer barrels per day anticipated in FY 2012,” he said.

—Kristen Nelson

See story in Dec. 18 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 16, at www.PetroleumNews.com

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