Announcements, Business, Economics

Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) Seeing More Oil For Second Year Running

The volume of oil that moved through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System increased in 2017, marking the second straight calendar year-over-year increase. The 2016 upturn was the first since 2002.

In 2017, TAPS moved 192,472,797 barrels at an average of 527,323 barrels daily. Compared to 2016’s throughput – 189,539,817 barrels total and 517,868 barrels daily average – ­the year-over-year total increase was 1.5 percent. The 2016 total increase over 2015 (185,582,715 barrels) was 2.1 percent.

The recent upward trend of TAPS throughput is positive news for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the TAPS’ operator, and for Alaska.

“More oil flowing through TAPS means a safer, more efficient and more sustainable pipeline system,” said Tom Barrett, Alyeska President. “Increased throughput also signals a stronger economy for Alaska and more opportunities for Alaskans.”

In 2017, Alyeska celebrated its 40th anniversary of operations following startup on June 20, 1977. At the close of 2017 operations, the cumulative total of barrels moved since startup was 17,648,210,557.


In recent years, TAPS has faced escalating challenges brought on by declining flow, which leads to slower-moving oil and the potential for cooling temperatures, ice formation in the line, and water and wax to drop out of the flow stream and accumulate. Alyeska teams have worked to adjust to the lower flows, including adding heat, monitoring winter operating temperatures and modifying pipeline pigging operations. But the best-case operations scenario is bringing more oil to TAPS.

“We benefit from an external business and regulatory environment that supports increased, responsible exploration and production on the North Slope and in the Arctic,” Barrett said. “North Slope operators are leveraging efficiencies and technology to increase production and discover new oilfields. All of these efforts play into increases in TAPS’ flow levels.”

For further information, contact Michelle Egan, Alyeska Corporate Communications Director, (907) 230-4093. For more information about Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s work, visit

About Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
For more than 40 years, Alyeska has operated the 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), safely moving oil from Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska south to the Port of Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the United States. The pipeline traverses three mountain ranges, permafrost regions and 34 major rivers and streams. Alyeska personnel work in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Valdez and at pump stations and response facilities all along the pipeline. They also operate the Ship Escort/Response Vessel System for Prince William Sound. Alyeska was created to construct, operate and maintain TAPS for owner companies which today are BP Pipelines (Alaska), ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and Unocal Pipeline Company. For more information, visit, or follow Alyeska on Facebook or on Twitter.


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