ANCHORAGE — The engineering feat that is the trans-Alaska pipeline is celebrating a milestone.
On Wednesday, the 800-mile pipeline marked 35 years of production with more than 16.5 billion barrels of oil loaded at the North Slope’s Prudhoe Bay oil field for delivery to Valdez at the line’s southern end. There, tankers leave Prince William Sound and head for West Coast refineries.
It was June 20, 1977, when oil was loaded for the first time into the pipeline, also known as TAPS. It arrived in Valdez — the country’s northernmost ice-free port — 38 days later.