Alyeska Pipeline, Richardson Highway, Alaska, USA.
The Trans Alaska Pipeline (or Alyeska Pipeline) crosses the Alaska Range and conveys crude oil 800 miles (1287 km) from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska, USA. Heat Pipes conduct heat from the oil to aerial fins to avoid melting the permafrost. The 48-inch diameter (122 cm) pipeline is privately owned by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) includes The Pipeline, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, 11 pump stations, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. Environmental, legal, and political debates followed the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968. After the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States and made exploration of the Prudhoe Bay oil field economically feasible, legislation removed legal challenges and the pipeline was built 1974-1977. Extreme cold, permafrost, and difficult terrain challenged builders. Tens of thousands of workers flocked to Alaska, causing a boomtown atmosphere in Valdez, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. Oil began flowing in 1977. The pipeline delivered the oil spilled by the huge 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster, which caused environmental damage expected to last 20-30 years in Prince William Sound.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download