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Trans Alaska Pipeline System moves its 17 billionth barrel


ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The 17 billionth barrel of Alaskan North Slope crude started down the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) this past weekend on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

“This is an operational milestone and legacy that we are all proud of,” said Tom Barrett, President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, TAPS’ operator. “We have a remarkable team on TAPS. The work they do every day directly benefits our company, our owner companies, and the state. It also benefits our communities across Alaska. Our employees volunteer generously of their time and resources, and every oil industry job leads to 20 more jobs for Alaskans.”

Startup of the pipeline was on June 20, 1977, with the first barrel of oil arriving in Valdez on July 28, and the first tanker departed the Terminal a few days later.

The launch of the pipeline transformed Alaska from a frontier state to an economic force. In its 37 years of operation, TAPS has generated roughly $183 billion in state revenue, and the oil and gas industry accounts for roughly 92 percent of the state’s discretionary funds.

The pipeline’s startup and first major operational achievements were met with fanfare and national recognition. Decades later, TAPS employees still celebrate major operations landmarks – such as the number of tankers loaded (21,300 and counting) and how many tanker escorts have been provided by Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (12,500+). Billion-barrel marks are also heralded. The last significant one, 16 billion barrels, came Oct. 8, 2009.

“We honor this accomplishment while recognizing, under present conditions, these milestones are slower to come,” Barrett said. “To operate for another 37 years, Alaska requires a business climate that supports increased production.”

Alyeska Pipeline has joined other members of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission in supporting the Vote No on 1 coalition. The group opposes Ballot Measure 1, which would repeal the current oil tax structure provided by Senate Bill 21 and revert to the former tax structure.

“All present and previous TAPS employees, whether they worked for Alyeska Pipeline or our contractors, can take pride in this accomplishment,” Barrett said. “I’d like to also recognize some very special people who have been with Alyeska Pipeline since startup.”

Those employees – listed by their name, the year they joined TAPS, and their current position – are as follows:

  • Susan Britt, 1974, Valdez Compliance/Documentation Manager
  • Melvin Jesse, 1975, Employee Concerns Coordinator
  • David Yunker, 1976, Technician
  • Virgil Bearden, 1976, OCC Lead Controller
  • Melanie Wagg, 1976, Senior Admin Support Coordinator
  • Lloyd Street, 1976, Power/Vapor Operations Supervisor
  • Donald Duke, 1976, Technician
  • William Frichtl, 1976, Electrical Engineer
  • Norbert Chowaniec, 1976, Pipeline Hydraulics Senior Engineer
  • Howard Echo Hawk, 1977, Technician
  • John Baldridge, 1977, Senior Director, Pipeline Operations
  • Gregory Tang, 1977, Field Science Technician
  • William Kramp, 1977, Power/Vapor Technician
  • Charles Macy, 1977, Power/Vapor Technician
  • Vivian Springer, 1977, Senior Buyer
  • Fred Sommer, 1977, Utility Rover Technician
  • Raymond Grubb, 1977, Inspection Services Manager
  • Harry Barnum, 1977, Ballast Water Treatment Technician
  • Michael Britt, 1977, Ballast Water Treatment Technician
  • Reva Paulsen, 1977, Senior Executive Assistant
  • Jeatonne Ponto, 1977, Senior Legal Research Specialist
  • Edmond Flynn, 1977, Field Measurement Technician
  • Gary Minish, 1977, Field Measurement Technician
  • Frederick Wentz, 1977, Operations and Maintenance Supervisor
  • Mark Stephens, 1977, Maintenance Coordinator
  • James Back, 1977, Technician


About Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
For 37 years, Alyeska has operated the 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), safely moving oil from Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska south to the Port of Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the United States. The pipeline traverses three mountain ranges, permafrost regions and 34 major rivers and streams. Alyeska personnel work in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Valdez and at pump stations and response facilities all along the pipeline. They also operate the Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) for Prince William Sound. Alyeska was created to construct, operate, and maintain TAPS for owner companies which today are BP Pipelines (Alaska), ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company.

For more information, visit www.alyeska-pipe.com, or follow Alyeska on Facebook or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlyeskaPipeline.


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