July numbers show North Slope production on the rise

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:27 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Figures from the Alaska Department of Revenue indicate that last month, the North Slope produced 477,896 barrels of oil. About 60% of that oil can be attributed to a ramp up in production at Prudhoe Bay.

July was the first month of operations at Prudhoe Bay for Hilcorp, which recently took control over BP‘s Alaskan assetts. While strong figures through Hilcorps first month are encouraging, the increased production could partially be a result of ConocoPhillips bringing more of its operations back online after curtailing production earlier this spring.

Oil and gas analyst Larry Persily says the numbers are a positive sign, but not a guarantee that oil will climb enough to cover the state’s current budget deficit.

”It’s encouraging mildly, but even with Conoco bringing back production and Hilcorp hopefully starting a history of success on the North Slope -- As Alaskans look to next years budget, we are going to have to overdraw permanent fund earnings just to maintain some of school funding that we have this year,” Persily said. “Then we are going to conjure up ‘magic money’ to even pay a dividend.”

On Wednesday, Alaska North Slope Crude (ANS) was listed at a little more than $42 per barrel on the West Coast. In April, state projections called for average ANS prices at or below $30 per barrel through the remainder of 2020.

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