Changing ice conditions clear way for historic fuel delivery by barge to Alaska's North Slope

An Alaska company says changing ice conditions in the North Slope area have allowed it to make a bulk fuel delivery to Prudhoe Bay by barge for the first time.

1st time company brings bulk fuel by barge to North Slope; 8 million litres of fuel delivered

A file photo of broken ice as the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica sails through the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska. An Alaska company says changing ice conditions in the North Slope area have allowed it to make a bulk fuel delivery to Prudhoe Bay by barge for the first time. (The Associated Press)

An Alaska company says changing ice conditions in the North Slope area have allowed it to make a bulk fuel delivery to Prudhoe Bay by barge for the first time. 

KTUU-TV reported Thursday that Colville Inc. says that the single trip carried 8 million litres of fuel. 

The fuel took 70 hours to unload before it was moved to a tank farm in the community of Deadhorse. 

An oil transit pipeline runs across the tundra to flow station at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska's North Slope. It took 70 hours to unload the fuel from the Colville Inc. barge that made its first bulk fuel delivery to North Slope area. (The Associated Press)

A statement by Colville says that fuel for North Slope oil field operations is typically delivered over land by trucks pulling 16-metre tankers from a refinery in Valdez to Deadhorse, a roughly 1,368-kilometre trip. 

Colville says it makes 2,000 of those trips each year, each hauling nearly 37,854 litres of diesel.

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