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Treadwell: Alaska can Produce Energy for America – More, Better, Faster

June 12, 2012, Washington, D.C. – Arctic exploration scheduled for offshore Alaska in the summer of 2012 could ultimately reverse the precipitous decline in throughput of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell told an Arctic Energy conference today in Washington, D.C.

Treadwell spoke at the Brookings Institution, a D.C. think tank that convened experts from several Arctic nations to address the “Challenges and Opportunities of Arctic Energy and Resources Development."

The lieutenant governor cited that TAPS throughput is less than 600,000 barrels per day, far less than the pipeline's historic 2.2 million barrel per day capacity.  

Opportunities arising from offshore exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas scheduled this summer, which is expected to prove on the potential of 26.6 billion barrels of oil, as well as new prospects explored onshore on or near the North Slope, could eventually turn the tide, Treadwell said. He also discussed efforts underway to market North Slope natural gas.    

The meeting also looked at the opening of the Arctic and northern sea routes. Treadwell noted that Arctic sea routes are allowing Europe and North American energy suppliers to serve Asian markets through the Bering Strait, and said Alaska is pressing efforts to ensure marine safety as more ships pass by Alaska. 

“U.S. leadership is key,” Treadwell said. “We are glad to hear Interior Secretary Salazar say last week that the U.S. is not to be left behind in Arctic energy production.

“This target can be best reached by carrots rather than sticks, by freedom rather than regulation, and by an understanding of the whole global market picture, rather than a narrow view that could entirely depress the tremendous economy-boosting and energy-producing potential we have today.”

“The chance to export Alaskan liquefied natural gas will help us produce more energy – better and faster – for Alaskans and for America,” Treadwell said.

En route to D.C., Treadwell stopped in Seattle to tour Shell oil rigs bound for the Arctic, the Kulluk and the Noble Discoverer.

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