August 10, 2010 |
In 1977, one of the engineering marvels of the modern world made its debut: the trans-Alaska pipeline, 48 inches of steel traversing 800 miles, three mountain ranges and more than 800 rivers and streams. In its heyday in the 1980s, the pipeline carried as much as 2.1 million barrels of oil a day from America's largest oil field at Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez. Alaska was transformed into a petro state with an oil savings account worth $33.3 billion. Today, however, the pipeline is carrying only about 660,000 barrels of oil a day, and production from the North Slope's aging fields is set to steadily decline over the next decade.
July 8, 2010 |
Facing mounting criticism over cost-cutting, deferred maintenance and a corporate culture that discourages dissent, the beleaguered head of the company that runs the 800-mile-long Trans Alaska Pipeline announced Wednesday that he would retire in September. Kevin Hostler's decision comes as two congressional subcommittees investigate Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s maintenance and safety records, and amid allegations that employees who expressed safety concerns were ignored or even punished.
April 15, 2010 |
The pavement ends 70 miles north of Fairbanks. From there, it's 414 miles of gravel, ice and blowing snow to Deadhorse, where what's left of the North American continent lies down along the rough peaks of the Arctic ice pack. It has been called the greatest road trip in the world. John Thomas has driven it 2,990 times, give or take a few. He's driven it at speed, with his big, 475-horsepower Kenworth straining the limit. He's driven it at 5 mph, when the snow was blowing so thick he had to crack open the door to see the edge of the road.
March 9, 2006 |
At least 20,000 gallons of crude oil have spilled from a corroded pipeline near Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska, state officials said Wednesday, adding that cleanup crews were hampered by severe conditions such as wind-chill temperatures of 50 degrees below zero. The leak has been plugged, and cleanup crews with giant vacuum trucks known as "super suckers" have been deployed to gather the spilled oil, said Lynda S. Giguere, a spokeswoman for Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation.
December 7, 2002 |
A jury convicted a man of shooting a hole in the trans-Alaska pipeline, leaking more than 285,000 gallons of oil into the wilderness. Jurors agreed that a drunk Daniel Lewis was responsible for last year's spill, which was the pipeline's second-largest and has cost more than $13 million to clean up. Lewis, 38, could be sentenced to up to 22 years in prison.
November 7, 2002 |
Oil began flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline again Wednesday morning, after crews made repairs following a magnitude 7.9 earthquake Sunday that moved the line up to 7 feet in places. "They're slowly, slowly, slowly ramping up," said Mike Heatwole of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. "They're going to watch that section closely." The line, which carries about one-sixth of the nation's oil production, was shut down after Sunday's earthquake.