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2 Description of TAPS

Pipeline and Route

The TAPS consists of an 800-mile, 48-inch-diameter warm oil pipeline, 10 pump stations, the Valdez Marine Terminal, and various support facilities. The pipeline crosses more than 800 rivers and streams, five seismic zones, and three mountain ranges. The pipeline is above ground for 420 miles, and buried for the other 380 miles. Valves are strategically placed along the pipeline to permit isolation of sections of the pipeline and minimize the volume of potential spills.

Pump Stations

The 10 pump stations are similar in layout and design, but differ somewhat because of their locations and the tasks that are performed at each pump station. Seven stations are currently operating; the other three were placed on standby in 1996 and 1997.

Valdez Marine Terminal

The Valdez Marine Terminal is the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska pipeline and is located at the ice-free Port of Valdez on the northeastern shore of Prince William Sound. At the terminal, crude oil is loaded onto tankers for shipment to markets. The terminal has four tanker-loading berths and storage facilities for 9.18 million barrels of crude oil. Currently, two tanker loading berths are used on a regular basis.

Additional TAPS Facilities

Additional TAPS facilities include access roads, a buried natural gas pipeline that provides gas to operate pump stations north of the Brooks Range, and an extensive telecommunications network to monitor and control pipeline operations.

For More Information

More descriptive information about TAPS is available in the FEIS Volume 2, Section 1.3, Introduction: Description of the TAPS and Its Surrounding Area.

PDF icon Chapter 1: Introduction (72 KB, 6 pgs.)


See also the TAPS Guide section of this web site.

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