Alyeska Pipeline

Alyeska Pipeline in front of Atigun River Brooks Range

Alyeska Pipeline in front of Atigun River- f/18 1/10 sec at ISO 100

The Alyeska Pipeline is an interesting form to Photograph. As a naturalist and environmentalist you are repulsed by the idea of such large amounts of oil flowing over the environment with such a high risk of contamination and all the pollution that comes with the extraction in the first place, but as a photographer, the pipeline creates a stunning foreground capable of transforming a beautiful scene into a fantastic photograph. Let’s face it, photos with a human element are often more pleasing. That may be because things become less foreign and we can relate to them more easily.

At any rate, the pipeline is also a marvel of engineering on many fronts but here are a few facts. It was completed in 1977, runs from Prudhoe Bay in the north to Valdez in the South (the farthest north port that does not freeze), has transported over 16 billion barrels of oil in the last 33 years, and is currently at a capacity of around 611,244 barrels per day.

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