A snowmachiner passes the Alyeska Pipeline Visitor Station along the Steese Highway near Fox as visitors take photos and read the information panels Tuesday afternoon, January 2, 2018. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) oil throughput from the North Slope is up for the second consecutive year.

FAIRBANKS—The amount of oil transported through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline system increased for the second straight year in 2017, the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. reported Tuesday.

With a daily average of 527,323 barrels, the pipeline moved almost 192.5 million barrels in 2017, a 1.5 percent increase over 2016's 189.5 million barrels, according to an Alyeska news release.

The year-over-year increase from 2015 to 2016 was slightly larger, at 2.1 percent

2017 was also the 40th anniversary of pipeline operations, with more than 17.6 billion barrels being transported through the 800-mile, 4-foot-wide pipe.

Prior to 2016, the amount of oil running through the pipeline had declined for 13 straight years.

"More oil flowing through TAPS means a safer, more efficient and more sustainable pipeline system," Alyeska President Tom Barrett stated in the news release. "Increased throughput also signals a stronger economy for Alaska and more opportunities for Alaskans."

When flow declines, oil moves slower, creating the potential for cooling temperatures, ice formation in the line and accumulation of water and wax.

A friendly business and regulatory environment supporting North Slope development is allowing operators to leverage efficiencies and technology to increase production and discover new oil fields, resulting in the increase of oil throughput, according to Barrett.

Alyeska was formed in 1970 to design, build and operate the pipeline system. It is a consortium of the major oil companies that own the pipeline.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

Annual oil throughput

(bbl = barrels. 1 barrel = 42 U.S. gallons)

2008: 257,499,836 bbl.

2009: 245,290,119 bbl.

2010: 226,174,050 bbl.

2011: 212,756,749 bbl.

2012: 200,518,907 bbl.

2013: 195,085,253 bbl.

2014: 187,406,088 bbl.

2015: 185,582,715 bbl.

2016: 189,539,817 bbl.

2017: 192,472,797 bbl.