ExxonMobil in Alaska: Passage to Prudhoe
Author shares impressions of 10,000 mile voyage of SS Manhattan from Pennsylvania to Alaska, via the Northwest Passage
The Humble Way, fourth quarter 1969
Petroleum News editor’s note: Oil transport was one of the key challenges associated with commercializing a remote field such as Prudhoe Bay. To explore the feasibility of an Arctic marine transportation system, ExxonMobil’s Humble Oil & Refining led the world’s first voyage of a commercial tanker, the SS Manhattan, through the Northwest Passage in late August of 1969.
I planted my felt-lined boots atop a six-foot ice hummock, surveyed the grim desert of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago about me, and thrilled to the heady knowledge that I was the first person ever to stand on one of the last bits of untrammeled land on our planet.
Aboard the SS Manhattan, I had ex....
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