Aaska's Oil Pipeline
48 inch pipe, 789 miles long will cross 3 mountain ranges and 70 rivers or streams
12 pumping stations
21 construction camps
3 years in construction
An estimated 10 billion barrels of crude oil
With central computer control at Valdez the pipeline is designated fro a maximum capacity of 2 million barrels of crude oil a day.
Oil was first discovered on Alaska's North Slope at Prudhoe Bay in March 1968. Studies on a proposed pipeline started as early as August of the same year. In September 1969 the State of Alaska held a Lease Sale of Prudhoe Bay land, a record 900 million dollars was paid to the State by those winning these leases.
There has been an unheralded number of engineering, ecological and permafrost studies along the pipeline route to assure safety of Alaska's wild-life and ecology.
Temperatures along the pipeline route vary from as much as 100 degrees F. in summer to more that 75 degrees below zero in winter.
The pipeline was three years in construction and cost over 8 billion dollars - the largest and most costly project ever undertaken by private industry.
this postcard is unused
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The Great Trans-Alaska Pipeline
The 800-mile, 48" Pipeline runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Pictures left is, top center, Visitor Information Cabin near Fox; Upper left, The Last Cat train carrying supplies past Anaktuvuk Pass to Prudhoe Bay; upper right, Alyeska Security Helicopters patrolling the pipeline; lower left, Burying the firs piece of pipe at Tonsina; lower right, The 150,000-ton tanker ARCO Juneau and the 265,000-ton tanker Northern Lion taking on oil at Valdez; lower center, Commemorative State at Valdez.
unused postcard from 1995
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The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) includes the trans-Alaska crude-oil pipeline, 11 pump stations, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. TAPS is one of the world's largest pipeline systems. It is commonly called the Alaska pipeline, trans-Alaska pipeline, or Alyeska pipeline, (or the pipeline as referred to in Alaska), but those terms technically apply only to the 800 miles (1,287 km) of the pipeline with the diameter of 48 inches (122 cm) that conveys oil from Prudhoe Bay, to Valdez, Alaska. The crude oil pipeline is privately owned by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.
The pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States. This rise made exploration of the Prudhoe Bay oil field economically feasible. The project attracted tens of thousands of workers to Alaska, causing a boomtown atmosphere in Valdez, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.
The first barrel of oil traveled through the pipeline in 1977, and full-scale production began by the end of the year. Several notable incidents of oil leakage have occurred since, including those caused by sabotage, maintenance failures, and gunshot holes. As of 2010, the pipeline has shipped almost 16 billion barrels (2.5×109 m3) of oil.