Decline in oil production has posed a serious problem for the pipeline.
By 2015, it is anticipated that daily oil throughput will approach 500,000 barrels per day (79,000 m3/d), unless additional sources of oil are developed. As volumes decrease, Alyeska will begin closing pump stations. The company intends to close all but four stations, because the lower throughput will require less pumping to maintain its momentum. While some reports supporting drilling in the ANWR coastal plain maintain that the pipeline may reach its minimum operating level of 200,000 barrels per day (32,000 m3/d) by 2020 the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Renewal Environmental Impact Statement estimated levels above this through at least 2032 due to ongoing exploration outside ANWR. Improvements that allow low flow-rates could extend its lifespan as far as 2075.
By law, Alaska is required to remove all traces of the pipeline after oil extraction is complete. No date has been set for this removal, but plans for it are being updated continuously.