ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- BP has ordered three new, double-hull tankers to work the Alaska trade. The order is worth more than $630 million.
The deal also includes options to buy three more of the ''Alaska Class'' vessels.
Design work already is underway with construction of the 1.3 million-barrel-capacity tankers to begin in early 2002, the company said in a news release.
National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. at San Diego is scheduled to deliver the first of the tankers in late 2003, with a tanker apiece to be delivered in 2004 and 2005.
BP said it will finish converting its Alaska fleet to double hulls in 2006.
BP's tankers move crude from a terminal at Valdez to refineries in Washington state and California.
BP said its three-ship order with options for another three will be mated to its Alaska production plans.
''We see a long future on the North Slope,'' spokeswoman Anne Drinkwater said. ''We expect our net Alaska production to stay at or above the current level for another decade.''
BP estimates that its net Alaska production is around 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
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