Alaska pipeline problem cuts West Coast oil supply by 15 percent - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Alaska pipeline problem cuts West Coast oil supply by 15 percent

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SEATTLE - BP's decision to shut down Alaska North Slope production because of pipeline corrosion will reduce the U-S supply of oil by about two-and-a-half percent.

The head of a Sacramento-based association for the oil industry says the 400,000-barrel-a-day cut amounts to about 15 percent of the oil supply for the West Coast. About 20 percent of California's oil comes from the North Slope.

Western States Petroleum Association President Joe Sparano (spah-RAHN'-noh) says it's too early to say what the impact will be on consumers. That will depend on inventory, the world market and how long the Alaska problem will continue.

Of the five refineries in Washington, the BP Cherry Point refinery at Blaine is the largest. It gets about half its crude oil from the North Slope. A spokesman, Mike Abendhoff, says after a week or two the company will have to scramble to find new sources of crude on world markets. He says the BP refinery will try to keep full production.

Another company, Tesoro says only ten percent of its crude supply comes from Prudhoe Bay. It says it has a secure supply for its refinery at Anacortes for about the next month.

The other refineries in Washington are the Shell refinery at Anacortes, the ConocoPhillips Refinery at Ferndale and the U-S Oil refinery at Tacoma.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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