salaryguru writes,<<SP: When available oil for transport falls to a certain level, the oil pipeline will have to be shut down, and removed root and branch very likely. At that point, we will no longer have an option to exploit remaining oil reserves.>>Why? I can understand that nature will have some corrosive impact on the pipeline if it sits idle, so re-start would require some maintenance (depending on how long it actually sits). But that does not mean that choosing to wait is the wrong option. It depends on the value of oil in the future, the cost of later maintenance, etc. Without a pretty detailed analysis, the conclusion that we have to "use it or lose it" seems pretty arbitrary. Of course there is always an option somewhere in between. We could run the pipeline with minimal flow to avoid deterioration until some later date when oil was very valuable. There seem to be an infinite number of alternatives of which "use it or lose it" sounds like one extreme that is based solely on a trite expression. </snip>Actually, the pipeline operator would probably opt to run the line at minimal flow just to avoid the cost of dismantling the pipeline and doing the environmental remediation work. Depending on the dismantling cost, it might even make sense to barge oil to Point Barrow just to keep the pipeline running.intercst
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