‘nother Brick In the Wall (Brick 6)

30 07 2010

The pipeline, which I saw a lot of on my way to start the Denali Highway, is a pretty major part of Alaska.

  • The Trans Alaska Pipeline System was designed and constructed to move oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the northern most ice-free port in Valdez, Alaska.
  • Length: 800 miles.
  • Diameter: 48 inches.
  • Crosses three mountain ranges and over 800 rivers and streams.
  • Cost to build: $8 billion in 1977, largest privately funded construction project at that time.
  • Construction began on March 27, 1975 and was completed on May 31, 1977.
  • First oil moved through the pipeline on June 20, 1977.
  • Over 15 billion barrels have moved through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System.
  • First tanker to carry crude oil from Valdez: ARCO Juneau, August 1, 1977.
  • Tankers loaded at Valdez: 19,625 through April 30, 2008.
  • Storage tanks in Valdez – 18 with total storage capacity of  9.1 million barrels total.

Additionally it crosses 3 fault lines and was designed to withstand an earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter Scale. This design was tested on November 3, 2002  when The pipeline’s earthquake design withstood a 7.9 earthquake that was centered along the Denali Fault, in the interior of Alaska, approximately 50 miles west of the pipeline. Estimates indicate that the ground along the fault moved 7 feet horizontally and nearly 2.5 feet vertically. The 7.9 quake was the largest on the Denali Fault since at least 1912 and among the strongest earthquakes recorded in North America in the last 100 years.

Now if only the same amount of preventive thinking had gone into the drilling in the gulf…. but I digress.

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