With the approval of federal and state regulators, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) has been restarted at a reduced rate of flow. Rather than transporting about 640,000 barrels of oil a day from Prudhoe Bay to the port at Valdez, Alaska, the pipeline is moving about 400,000 barrels per day. At Valdez, the oil flows into storage tanks for loading onto tankers bound for West Coast refineries.
Although the secondary pipe in the basement of Pump Station 1 continues to leak and the new bypass piping has not been completed, government and Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. officials agreed that operations along the massive, 800-mile pipeline should be resumed. By turning on the pumps along the pipeline's route, the oil in the pipeline is warmed and concerns about icing can be addressed. At Prudhoe Bay... more »