- Posted January 1, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel snapshots: Otherworldly landscapes
The Alaska Pipeline
My I visited Alaska with my husband in October of 2006. We had a great time enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), usually called the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska or the Alaska Pipeline elsewhere, is a major U.S. oil pipeline connecting oil fields in Alaska's North Slope to a North Pacific seaport where the oil can be shipped to the Lower 48 states for refining.
The main Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs north to south, almost 800 miles (1,300 km), from the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the Gulf of Alaska at Valdez, Alaska, passing near several Alaskan villages and towns.
Construction of the pipeline through the sparsely populated region presented significant challenges due to the remoteness of the rugged terrain and the harsh environment along the route. Between the North Slope and Valdez, there were three mountain ranges, active fault lines, miles of unstable, boggy ground underlain with frost, hundreds of streams and rivers, and migration paths of caribou and moose. Geological activity has damaged the pipeline on several occasions.
Since its completion in 1977, the pipeline has transported over 15 billion barrels (2.4 TL) of oil.