Visiting The Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline
The construction of Alaska pipeline was completed in the year 1977 by APSC (Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.) at an expenditure of about 8 billion USD within two years. This was the leading privately funded construction project effort within that error. The TAPS (Trans Alaska Pipeline System) was constructed as a way of transporting rudimentary oil from Prudhoe Bay oilfields situated in North Slope of Alaska to the northern most and marine ice-free port within Valdez, from where tankers were used to transport the crude oil to U.S refineries. At the peak of building the pipeline, the construction company as well as its contractors recruited about 28000 persons. Trans Alaska Pipeline System carries about 15% of the country’s domestic oil production ("Alaska.org - Visiting The TAOP ", 11th February., p. 1-2).
The pipeline’s environment or the ground is covered with permafrost or permanently frozen ground. The heat generated by the oil would thaw or melt the frozen ground if the oil pipeline was buried, resulting to the pipe to break and buckle. Consequently, over half of the Alaska pipeline is constructed above the ground. In cases where the oil pipe is buried, it is covered within a deep ditch, protected or insulated with padding of gravel and wrapped or covered with dirt. Where the pipe crosses the road, the buried pipe is refrigerated with an intention of averting thawing or melting ("Alaska.org - Visiting The TOAP", 11th February., p. 2).
The Alaska pipeline transverses over five hundred and fifty wildlife crossing, for this reason, some sections are raised to a height that can allow wild animals to cross or migrate from one side of the line to another. The decision or assessment to burry or raise the line rely mainly on the conditions of the soil as well as the likelihood effects of the heat from the pipe on the soil. Under normal conditions, burial was adopted within stable rocks and soils, where melting may not lead to loss of rock/soil support for the line. Moreover, special burial approaches were employed within certain short parts for the animal as well as highway crossings ("Alaska.org - Visiting The TOAP", 11th February., p. 3).
Aboveground parts were constructed in a flexible pattern of zigzag, where longitudinal contractions or expansion of the line from cold and heat is transferred into sideways movement. Besides, this accommodates line motion created by an earthquake.
Firms Fined for Misclassification of Crude Oil within Rail Transit
It was reported by the Federal regulators that three firms were fined for mislabeling crude oil being transported. The fines, 93000USD, were the initial from impromptu inspections after a series of accidents experienced in 2013 due to risks of transporting flammable oil using rail. The inspections established that about eleven of eighteen samples from tanks were improperly identified as well as labeled. The firms were the WOGC (Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation), the MOC (Marathon Oil Corporation), and the HC (Hess Corporation) ("Log In - The New York Times", 11th February., p. 1.)
The oil boom within Wyoming, North Dakota, and Colorado has resulted in a surge within oil transportation by rail within the recent years. Approximately 400000 carloads of oil are reported to have been transported by rail in 2013, up from nine thousand five hundred in 2008 (). However, the latest accidents, for example, one in North Dakota and another in Alabama late 2013 have raised concerns of safety. Federal regulators have raised the alarm that Bakken crude oil seems more volatile compared to other crude oil grades, and more probably to explode or burst in an accident. There are rising concerns over tightening safety rules. Proper labeling or classification of cargo is crucial in assisting emergency workers ("Log In - The New York Times", 11th February., p. 1).
Alaska.org - Visiting The Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline .. [Video file]. (11th February). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb_p1TkwSjc&feature=player_embedded#at=22
Log In - The New York Times. (11th February). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/business/energy-environment/3-companies-fined-for-mislabeling-crude-oil-in-rail-transit.html?_r=0