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Judge says Alaska pipeline has proven reserves to operate until 2065; puts value at more than $9 billion

Photo of caribou walking alongside the Trans-A...
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by dermotcole
Dec 30, 2011

Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason of Anchorage issued a much-anticipated decision today that the trans-Alaska pipeline is worth about 9 times as much as the oil companies contend and there are enough proven oil reserves on the North Slope to keep it operating until 2065.

This basically extends the expected life of the pipeline by about 20 years compared to a previous ruling, largely based on internal oil company documents, sworn testimony and external reviews that show the pipeline will be able to operate economically at much lower flow rates than those cited by people who warn that the pipeline is in danger of shutting down in a decade.

The decision also quotes internal oil company documents predicting that Alaska oil will be flowing for another half-century.

The tone of the documents and testimony quoted in the decision is in sharp contrast to the highly publicized Alyeska Low Flow Impact Study released in June that gave a pessimistic view about

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - entry Judge says Alaska pipeline has reserves to operate until 2065 puts value at more than 9 billion....