The building of the Alaska Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s Northern Coast to the Port of Valdez is the biggest and most expensive private enterprise in American history.
The story begins in 1968, when the Atlantic Richfield Company struck oil in the North Slope, at Prudhoe Bay. It was the largest oil field ever discovered in North America. Several oil companies joined in and started drilling their own wells. But they all faced the same problem: how to get 10 billion barrels of oil out of Alaska. They were soon to learn that there was no simple solution.
The Arctic Ocean was frozen solid most of the year, and there wasn’t even a road within 400 miles of the wellheads. Much of the country was untamed and wild, and had never even been mapped. It was literally a no-man’s land--which elevated it to a compelling challenge for big business and adventurers alike. But more than anything else, greed was the driving force for building the pipeline.
Building the Alaska Pipeline was one of the most difficult and dangerous projects ever undertaken, and the story has all the ingredients of a great novel, film and even TV miniseries. It is a human drama of epic proportions, with all the spellbinding components that stir emotions--big business, politics, corruption, danger and adventure. It attracted thousands of people from all over the world
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