March 07, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 27March 2001

Most Alaskans support development of ANWR, poll says

Oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is favored by 75 percent of Alaskans according to a Dittman Research Corp. poll released today by Arctic Power.

The statewide telephone poll asked, “Do you support or oppose oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, also known as ANWR?” Support was especially high among older Alaskans and longer-term residents. Residents 60 years of age or older registered 82 percent support for ANWR development and 79 percent of residents of 15 years or more support development.

Nine polls since 1989 have posed the same question and each showed strong support for ANWR development. The 2001 approval rating is the highest yet. Only 2 percent of Alaskans were unsure about development, the lowest level in any survey to date.

Williams ships record load of naphtha, jet fuel from Port of Anchorage

Anchorage had a very large visitor March 5-6 when the 810-foot petroleum tanker Sag River arrived at the port to load 360,000 barrels of naphtha and jet fuel from Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc.

"As far as we know, it's the largest petroleum vessel to come into Anchorage," Jeff Cook, Williams Alaska vice president, told PNA March 6. Williams sold the naphtha and jet fuel to Astra, a large petroleum trading company, Cook said. The Sag River arrived for 36-hour stay to load the cargo.

The 360,000 barrel shipment is the largest Williams has had and includes 270,000 barrels of naphtha, which will be used to make reformulated gasoline, and 90,000 barrels of jet fuel.

Cook said Williams exports on a pretty regular basis, with six to 10 ships or barges picking up cargo each year, but generally in cargoes of 250,000 to 260,000 barrels. This is the first time for this big a ship, he said. Williams also ships jet fuel and diesel out of Anchorage by barge to Alaska destinations.

The fuels arrive in Anchorage by railcar from Williams' North Pole refinery. The company averages 80 railcars a day, with a summer peak of 117 railcars, each carrying about 500 barrels, which is loaded into storage tanks at the Port of Anchorage to await ship transport. Cook said Williams is the Alaska Railroad's largest customer.

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