ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline said it will accept more oil as global demand begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, while a major producer has not altered plans to cut production.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. expects to reduce its previous cut in the amount of North Slope oil allowed through the pipeline, The Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

But ConocoPhillips Co. has not altered its decision to cut Alaska production by about half.

“The decision to curtail production by 100,000 barrels a day in June has been made, and that won’t change,” ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Natalie Lowman said.

Alyeska announced a 50,000-barrel reduction to daily production in April, cutting North Slope output by 10%.

The company said it foresaw a period of high inventory at its Valdez tank farm in late May.


The company curtailed levels by 25,000 barrels daily, or a 5% drop of North Slope production, Alyeska President Brigham McCown said in a tweet.

For a short period before that, Alyeska cut production by 75,000 barrels daily as part of a process known as pro-rationing.

As the pipeline operator accepted less oil in April, North Slope oil production dropped from more than 500,000 barrels daily to around 420,000 barrels about a week ago. The production amount has risen since then, officials said.

North Slope oil production dipped below 400,000 barrels daily for several days last summer, the season when equipment maintenance often slows production.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.