The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is a four-foot-wide, 800.32-mile-long pipe, built by 70,000 individuals in a little more than two years between 1975 and 1977, costing $8 billion in private money. It is owned and operated by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which is itself owned by the oil companies that dominate North Slope oil production: BP (47 percent), ConocoPhillips (28 percent), and ExxonMobil (20 percent). It spans the entire state of Alaska, from top to bottom, bringing the entirety of oil extracted from the North Slope at Prudhoe Bay—the largest oil field in the United States—to market. 100,000 forty foot sections of half-inch thick steel pipe were welded together, wrapped in insulation and an outer covering of sheet metal, and stretched across our emptiest state, in one fell swoop. 30 million gallons of crude still flow through it daily, the largest domestic source of crude consumed on the West Coast of the USA.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline