The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT, www.dot.gov) is evaluating a request by BP (www.bp.com) to restart the eastern section of its Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, oil field, according to a report by Reuters (www.reuters.com). The evaluation, for which the DOT gave no timeline, will determine if the company can perform testing on the line.

Output at the Prudhoe Bay field is currently 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), and Reuters says BP hopes to return production to previous levels of 400,000 bpd by next month. According to Reuters, BP is specifically seeking approval to restart production along Prudhoe Bay”s flow stations 1 and 3. Reuters says if BP’s tests show the pipeline segments are not fit for service, the company is considering alternate ways to move its crude to market.