The Valdez crude export terminal has seen a modest decline in the number of crude tankers in recent weeks, as oil companies reduce shipments in light of the problems in Prudhoe Bay oil production
, the Valdez terminal manager said Thursday.
The Valdez terminal, the crude export facility at the end of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, will receive four tankers this week and about the same number next week. That's a drop-off from last week's level and from typical traffic levels, said Tom Stokes, Valdez Marine Terminal Manager for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.
The Valdez Terminal usually has about 360 tanker visits per year, or almost one tanker each day. The tankers vary in size, with the smaller vessels carrying 300,000 barrels, and the largest ones carrying 1.4 million barrels.
The drop-off comes on the heels of BP PLC
's (BP) move earlier this month to shut down half the giant Prudhoe Bay oilfield
on the North Slope of Alaska due to pipeline corrosion. That decision has limited TAPS throughout to about 600,000 barrels of crude per day, instead of the normal range of at least 800,000 b/d.