BP was there from the start and continues as the majority stakeholder today. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – June 20, 2017 40 years on Alaska's North Slope have provided over 12.5 billion barrels of domestically produced oil with 280,000 barrels per day still being produced. When oil started pumping from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field on 20 June 1977, estimates pointed to a 30-year production life span with potential for 9.6 billion barrels. After 40 years, Prudhoe Bay is the most productive US oil field in history generating more than 12.5 billion barrels over the past four decades. How does BP's strategic shift towards natural gas and highly competitive oil production work within the aging North Slope of Alaska Oil production? Four decades ago, the first oil that was pumped started flowing down the Trans-Alaskan pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez. That inaugural barrel of oil was the result of work that had begun when hydrocarbons were discovered by ARCO in 1959. BP also began working in Alaska in 1959 with initial drilling at the massive Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968 and helping build the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the mid-70s. Since Prudhoe Bay began production in June 1977, it has generated more than 12.5 billion barrels of oil - far exceeding initial projections of 9.6 billion - thanks in part to enhanced oil recovery technologies that BP pioneered. Four decades later, Prudhoe Bay remains one of North America’s largest oil fields. All of the facilities supporting oil production are located in a 312 square-mile footprint at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope, a flat land that extends 88,000 square miles from the foothills of the Brooks Mountain Range to the Arctic Ocean. The tundra thaws each year but the subsurface remains frozen year-round. Buildings are erected on stilts to keep the ground from thawing and turning into mush. The vast majority of people who visit the Slope arrive by specially chartered airliners that are operated by energy companies, although the Dalton Highway used by trucks and the occasional tourist brings in the heavy supplies from the south. Weather on the North Slope ranges from cold to extremely cold. The average low temperature in January is – 24 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), with average ‘summer’ highs in July of just 54°F. The people who were the original North Slope pioneers were charting new territory in working and living in a polar environment and now, some 40 years later, many are still there.