Alyeska: trans-Alaska oil pipeline hits 15 billion barrel milestone
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline marked a milestone Dec. 21 when the 15 billionth barrel of oil was received at Pump Station One on Alaska’s North Slope, TAPS operator Alyeska Pipeline Service Co said. Oil began flowing through the pipeline June 20, 1977 with the first oil arriving in Valdez July 28, 1977 and the first tanker departing from the terminal Aug. 1, 1977.
The pipeline had another milestone Dec. 14, Alyeska said, when the company’s Ship Escort Vessel Response System conducted it 10,000th tanker escort with the marine tanker Polar Resolution departing the Valdez Marine Terminal under escort by the tugs Alert and Nanuq. The escort and response system was established in 1989, after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to assist tankers through Prince William Sound and to provide rapid and effective response services to the Valdez Marine Terminal and Alaska crude oil shippers.
Peak production from the North Slope was 2.1 million barrels per day and the trans-Alaska oil pipeline currently moves less than a million barrels a day. Alyeska said that volume represents some 17 percent of U.S. crude oil production. Because some crude oil is used by in-state refiners, the 15 billionth barrel of oil isn’t expected to be loaded onto a tanker until December 2007.