Pacific Northwest Architecture

Trans Alaska Pipeline

Valdez, Alaska
Basic Information
Cost $8,000,000,000.00
Type Industrial Facility
Maximum length 800 feet/240 meters
More Information
  • The pipeline is 48 inches in diameter.
  • It three-quarters of an inch thick, and wrapped in four inches of insulation.
  • It is designed to survive earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale.
  • The pipeline crosses three major fault lines.
  • The oil inside the pipeline moves at 5.4 miles per hour.
  • The oil comes out of the Earth too hot to transport. It has to be cooled to 120 degrees before entering the main pipeline.
  • It takes almost six days for oil to make the trip from one end of the pipeline to the other.
  • Construction required 1,347 state and federal permits.
  • 70,000 contractors and Alyeska employees were used to build the pipeline.
  • Electrical currents in the Earth called "telluric currents" are conducted by the pipeline. They are returned to the ground through zinc anodes.
  • December, 1999 - A man is arrested for plotting to blow up the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Alfred Heinz Reumayr planned to plant 14 bombs along the length of the pipeline. They were supposed to explode 1 January, 2000. Reumayr was going to purchase oil futures in order to cash in on his mayhem.
  • 3 November, 2002 - The pipeline is shut down for a few days for a safety check after part of it was rocked by a 7.9 earthquake that damaged part of it about 100 miles southwest of Fairbanks.