Fuel shipment by sea to slope

Crowley Fuel delivered a bulk load of diesel by barge to the North Slope in late August, the first marine fuel shipment to the slope in 20 years. Two million gallons were delivered to Colville Enterprises, a fuel distributor on the slope. The barge shipment landed an amount of fuel that would have required delivery by 200 trips by tank truck up the Dalton Highway. State officials have cited the safety and environmental risks of the industry’s total dependence on truck fuel transport. A Colville driver was killed in a tank truck accident on the Dalton this summer. Colville said it plans another barge shipment next summer. Increasing industry activity on the slope is leading to local fuel demand.

Short reroute on Dalton Highway

The state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has rerouted a small section of the Dalton to avoid a mass of frozen debris slowly moving down a hillside. The mass, nicknamed “the blob,” would have reached the highway in three or four years. The reroute cost about $2 million. Vehicles, mainly trucks supporting the North Slope oil fields, began using the reroute Aug. 31.

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