Alaska Pipeline Cuts Through Last Frontier

Alaska, the last frontier with its wide mountain ranges, also holds a very vast oil field. In 1968 large oilfields were verified there, and oil companies rushed to drill the field. Building pipelines for oil refineries was and still is a large construction business.

Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Co. (now EXXON Co.) joined in an 8 billion dollar 2-year project in 1968. They had everything from backhoe loaders, trucks and all types of earth-moving machines. At first they thought they would just get 9 million barrels of oil, but they were wrong. The find turned out to be the 18th largest reserve in the world and the largest in America. After the 1968 discovery, oil firms proceeded to plan, design and engineer the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Systems. It took 6 years to finally complete the pipelines. Since 1977, North Slope oil field has pumped up to 15 billion barrels of crude oil. Most of the revenue of Alaska comes from oil tax. Having such a large facility requires a huge and meticulous maintenance against natural and manmade damaging effects such as sabotage and spillage. For the full article, click here

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