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History of North Alaska Petroleum development

In the early 1970s, as petroleum production from the Lower 48 states entered a decline, a new discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska offered the U.S. the promise of a significant new source of competitive domestic supply on a world class scale. The discovery was initially estimated to be 9.6 billion barrels of oil, nearly double the size of the largest field ever previously found in North America. Despite high costs, hostile climate, untested technology, unsettled land claim issues, and major environmental challenges, supply from Prudhoe Bay came online in 1977, offsetting most of the decline in Lower 48 supply through the mid-1980s.

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