Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Alaska, Pipeline Basics 

Just north of Fairbanks is a milepost for the Alaskan pipeline. The pipeline, an extraordinary site to behold. Physically, it is a masterpiece of engineering, environmental protection and a major supplier of oil. It was a mental exercise as well as a physical feat.

Here are some basic construction facts. Environmental and engineering issues will be addressed in separate posts.
1 � Preconstruction was a six year effort.
2 � Actual construction was only three years, two months.
3 � Permits required: 515 federal; 832, state (bureaucracy at work).
4 � Number of pipe sections: 100,000.
5 � Pipe sections elevated for animal crossings: 554.
6 � Pipe sections buried for animal crossings: 23.
7 � Peak oil production: 2,000,000 barrels/day (1988).
8 � Number of takers loaded at Valdez: over 17,000 as of summer, 2007.

The pipeline crosses 34 major rivers, 800 smaller streams and three mountain ranges. It is 800 miles long.

All facts above from Alaska Airlines, June, 2007 magazine.