The Denver Post, April 16, 2017:
The 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System was built for extreme conditions. But as the state’s oil production has declined, the pipeline faces a new challenge: flows so sluggish operators worry the line may become unusable, cutting off access for hundreds of North Slope oil wells.
Every four days, a device known as a pig, a sort of industrial Q-Tip, is sent hurtling through the 48-inch-wide pipeline to scrub out debris.
So far, that’s kept the oil moving. But it comes at a price: higher transport costs for a product that’s already at an economic disadvantage to other supplies around the globe. Alyeska’s technical fixes should allow the pipeline to keep operating at volumes as low as 300,000 barrels a day, a threshold that could be reached by the middle of the next decade.Tri-City Herald, October 5, 2017:
Nearly every Alaskan will wake up $1,100 richer Thursday, thanks to this year's payout from the state's oil wealth investment fund.
The distribution from the Alaska Permanent Fund is essentially free money for residents, who already don't pay a state income tax or statewide sales tax. But it's just half of the expected $2,200 windfall, which was reduced for the second straight year to help the state pay its bills amid a recession due to continued low oil prices.
Unlike previous distributions, the amount of this year's payout was quietly announced in mid-September in a short news release. Gone was the usual announcement made with great fanfare in other years.