Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)
TAPS is the transportation system that moves crude oil from the Alaska North Slope to the Valdez Marine Terminal. The system includes 800 miles of 48-inch diameter crude oil pipeline, pump stations, communications sites, material sites, a work pad and access roads, and other related facilities. TAPS contributes approximately 13% of the nation's domestic oil production, reducing dependence on foreign reserves.
TAPS Lease and Grant of ROW
The pipeline and the related facilities are owned by:
Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay in 1968 by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon Company, U.S.A.) Subsidiaries of the two companies and British Petroleum Company entered into an agreement for a planning study and engineering design and construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Project. Plans were announced for an 800-mile pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska in 1969. Five additional companies joined the original three and the owner companies incorporated Alyeska Pipeline Service Company to manage the pipeline in 1970.
The project was controversial from the start. Department of the Interior Secretary Stuart Udall had declared a moratorium on land selections in Alaska in 1967 in response to Alaska Native concerns about use of their traditional lands. The land freeze prevented construction of the pipeline but led to the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971.
The Interior Department completed an environmental impact statement in 1972 but a federal appeals court ruled that provisions of the law were still not upheld. The debate culminated in November 1973 when Congress voted to bypass the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and authorize construction.
The Department of the Interior issued a Grant of Right-of-Way and the State of Alaska issued the State Lease of Right-of-Way in 1974 and pipeline construction began shortly thereafter. Construction took three years and cost $8 billion. TAPS oil began flowing in 1977. In December 1997, the 12 billionth barrel of oil arrived at the Valdez Marine Terminal.
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