ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Phillips Petroleum Co. is set to christen its third double-hulled oil tanker to ship Alaska crude oil to the Lower 48.
The $168 million ship is among nine new double-hulled vessels Phillips and competitor BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. plan to have running by 2007. The companies already operate four.
The newest Phillips tanker, Polar Discovery, will be christened Saturday at a New Orleans shipyard. The 895-foot vessel will begin service next year, carrying 42 million gallons of oil.
The company last year launched its first reinforced tanker designed specifically for the 2,400-mile round trip between Valdez and the West Coast. A second is scheduled to start service this summer.
After the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress ordered the gradual replacement of the Alaska tanker fleet with double-hulled ships.
Six of the roughly 25 tankers operating out of Valdez have met the requirement, according to the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council.
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