PIPELINES

The long (long) road to a famous dead end

PART FOUR:
DEADHORSE, Alaska — The Bureau of Land Management's official visitors guide paints an ominous picture of travel on the remote Dalton Highway.

"The road is narrow, has soft shoulders, high embankments, and steep hills," the guide says. "There are lengthy stretches of gravel surface with sharp rocks, potholes, washboard, and, depending on the weather, clouds of dust or slick mud."

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PIPELINES

Disaster, decline and hope for an aging mega project

PART THREE:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — On Aug. 1, 1977, the oil tanker Arco Juneau sailed out of the port of Valdez carrying the first load of Prudhoe Bay oil to a refinery on the West Coast. The ship's departure marked the triumphant end to Alaska's nine-year transformation from an insolvent, frontier territory into an oil state.

Alaska's journey began in 1968, when ARCO and Humble Oil & Refining Co. discovered the largest oil field in North America on Alaska's frigid North Slope. CONTINUE READING >>>

PIPELINES

How Spiro Agnew helped save the Trans-Alaska project

PART TWO:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In 1968, ARCO and Humble Oil and Refining Co. announced the discovery of 21 billion barrels of oil in place at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field, 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Independent analysts concluded that as much as 10 billion barrels could be recovered from the reservoir. It was and remains the biggest oil find in North America.

Four thousand miles away, a young ARCO petroleum engineer was riveted by the thought of bringing the elephant field to life. Harold Heinze wanted in. CONTINUE READING >>>

PIPELINES

Big finds, bitter clashes and NEPA: The tale of Trans-Alaska

PART ONE:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The story of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is the stuff of legends.

The saga began shortly after Alaska became a state in 1959, when a young geologist convinced Alaska leaders to claim ownership of 1.6 million acres of frozen tundra along the Arctic Ocean. Nine years later, an exploration team drilled a well into the heart of those North Slope lands and discovered the largest oil field in North America.

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