TAPS Renewal Questions and Answers
Who owns TAPS?
The pipeline itself and the related facilities that constitute the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System are owned by the following companies: BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc.; Phillips Transportation Alaska, Inc.; ExxonMobil Pipeline Company; Williams Alaska Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Amerada Hess Pipeline Corporation; and Unocal Pipeline Company. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (Alyeska) operates the TAPS as agent for the six TAPS owners.
How did the TAPS owners get to use State and Federal land?
In order for someone to use State or Federal land, they must have the appropriate authorization from the landowner. The State and Federal governments issued 30-year rights-of-way to the owners of TAPS to construct, operate, and maintain an oil transportation pipeline and related facilities on the respective State and Federal lands they manage. The nominal width of the right-of-way on State land is 100 feet. The nominal width of the right-of-way on the Federal land is 54 feet for buried pipeline and 64 feet for elevated (aboveground) pipeline. About 420 miles of pipe is above ground and about 380 miles is buried.
What is the Joint Pipeline Office?
The Joint Pipeline Office is a consortium of six Federal and seven State agencies that authorize and oversee pipelines, including TAPS, on Federal and State lands. The U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources lead the JPO. The JPO office was established in 1990 in response to the need for a comprehensive approach to monitoring and regulating the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. The BLM leads the right-of-way renewal EIS process, assisted by Argonne National Laboratory and in close cooperation with the State of Alaska. A special team of ADNR and BLM staff members within the JPO is now dedicated to the renewal process.
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