BP GTL Plant Manager Steven Ramsay and other BP officials hosted a catered barbeque last week for Peninsula residents to celebrate 30 years of production from Prudhoe Bay.
Alaskans only have to think of their Permanent Fund Dividend check to come up with a reason to celebrate 30 years of black gold flowing through the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). British Petroleum (BP) officials said they were “Hungry for a celebration,” so they fired up their grills at Soldotna Creek Park on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon and invited everyone from the Peninsula to join them for burgers, hotdogs and chips. “Thirty years is always a big birthday to celebrate and we chose the warmest day to do it on,” said Steven Ramsay, BP Gas to Liquids Plant Manager in Nikiski. Ramsey lives in Kenai with his family and says things are going well at the GTL plant, “We’re proving out our main technology that converts the gas to liquids and that’s going pretty well and we are at the stage where we are looking for commercial projects whether that will be inside or outside Alaska,” said Ramsay. He feels that TAPS has another good 50 years of service, “Oil production on the Slope should pan out for the next 50 years and of course if we want to get the oil to market you need the pipeline.” Hundreds turned out at Soldotna Creek Park to enjoy the catered barbeque, music and some clowning around. “A great time was had by all, it was a perfect sunny day and if BP tried to have a picnic in Scotland it would most likely rain, so a day like today must prove we’re doing something right in Alaska,” added Ramsay.
In Washington D.C., U.S. Senator Ted Stevens offered the following remarks on the 30th Anniversary of TAPS:
Burgers, Hotdogs, Chips and Clowns made for a fun anniversary community celebration at Soldotna Creek Park.
“Mr. President, on June 20, 1977 30 years ago to this day oil began flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. This event represents an important milestone in Alaska’s history and a watershed moment in our struggle to secure America’s energy independence. "When construction began in 1974, this project was the largest ever financed by private capital. Engineers faced staggering challenges as they plotted a route across 800 miles of rugged terrain and three major mountain ranges. Various geographic hurdles also necessitated the construction of seven airfields, dozens of bridges, and a 360-mile-long road to connect Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks.
"Just more than three years after construction started, however, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was ready to operate. Since then, more than 15.5 billion barrels of crude oil have been sent from Alaska’s North Slope, through the pipeline to Valdez, and on to refineries throughout the country.
"Mr. President, when oil began to flow through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1977, gasoline cost a mere 38 cents per gallon. Today, the nationwide average has soared to $3.00 per gallon, and many experts predict this price will reach $4.00 by the end of summer. As those of us in the Senate continue to debate a comprehensive energy policy for our nation, we must take note of the consequences of thirty years of oil production in Alaska. Instead of the ecological disaster many predicted, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has been an economic lifeline for our nation. It continues to prove we can balance environmental concerns with the production of our natural resources. I urge my colleagues to heed this lesson."
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