Enormity I Never Realized

Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Frank Sanoica, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    I took over an ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Co.) service station in mid 1972. My Dealer Rep spoke constantly of the Alaska Pipeline, in which ARCO had invested a sizable stake. Here are a few facts; amazing, to me, they are:

    The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is an oil transportation system spanning Alaska, including the trans-Alaska crude-oil pipeline, 11 pump stations, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. TAPS is one of the world's largest pipeline systems. It is commonly called the Alaska pipeline, trans-Alaska pipeline, or Alyeska pipeline, (or the pipeline as referred to in Alaska), but those terms technically apply only to the 800 miles (1,287 km) of the pipeline with the diameter of 48 inches (1.22 m) that conveys oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska. The crude oil pipeline is privately owned by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.
    The pipeline was built between 1975 and 1977, after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States. This rise made exploration of the Prudhoe Bay oil field economically feasible. Environmental, legal, and political debates followed the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968, and the pipeline was built only after the oil crisis provoked the passage of legislation designed to remove legal challenges to the project.
    In building the pipeline, engineers faced a wide range of difficulties, stemming mainly from the extreme cold and the difficult, isolated terrain. The construction of the pipeline was one of the first large-scale projects to deal with problems caused by permafrost, and special construction techniques had to be developed to cope with the frozen ground. The project attracted tens of thousands of workers to Alaska, causing a boomtown atmosphere in Valdez, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.
    The first barrel of oil traveled through the pipeline in the summer of 1977,[1][2][3][4] with full-scale production by the end of the year.
    Construction of the pipeline caused a massive economic boom in towns up and down the pipeline route. Waiting in line became a fact of life in Fairbanks, and the Fairbanks McDonald's became No. 2 in the world for sales. On the pipeline itself, thievery was a major problem. Poor accounting and record keeping allowed large numbers of tools and large amounts of equipment to be stolen.[101] The Los Angeles Times reported in 1975 that as many as 200 of Alyeska's 1,200 yellow-painted trucks were missing from Alaska and "scattered from Miami to Mexico City"
    What did the pipeline cause of value? Prior to 1976, Alaska's personal income tax rate was 14.5 percent—the highest in the United States. The gross state product was $8 billion. Thirty years after the pipeline began operating, the state had no personal income tax, the gross state product was $39 billion. Alaska moved from the most heavily taxed state to the most tax-free state.
    Pipeline flow rate has been steady from 2013 to 2018, hovering just over half a million barrels per day. Pumping stations maintain the momentum of the oil as it goes through the pipeline.[145] Pump Station 1 is the northernmost of 11 pump stations spread across the length of the pipeline. The original design called for 12 pump stations with 4 pumps each, but Pump Station 11 was never built. Nevertheless, the pump stations retained their intended naming system.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...-Alaska_Pipeline_System_Luca_Galuzzi_2005.jpg
    The trans-Alaska oil pipeline,
    as it zig-zags across the landscape

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...bou.jpg/375px-Alaska_Pipeline_and_caribou.jpg
    A caribou walks next to a section of the pipeline north of the Brooks Range. Opponents of the pipeline asserted the presence of the pipeline would interfere with the caribou.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...ipeline_crossing_South_fork_Koyukuk_River.jpg
    The pipeline passes underneath many smaller rivers and streams, but bridges cover longer crossings.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...ns-Alaska_Pipeline_System_Slider_Supports.jpg
    The pipeline simply rests on its supports; it is not actually welded or otherwise affixed in place. This is necessary because the air temperature swings by over 150 °F (83 °C) from winter to summer, causing extreme heat expansion: the length of the pipeline changes by over 5 miles over the course of a year.[133] The pipeline was constructed 11 miles "too long" to account for this.

    So, given the apparent success overall of this enormous, 800-mile long pipeline, what is it's continued future? We are seeing the phase-out of internal combustion engines in mass production; no more oil and gasoline will be fought for. Will "Big Oil" survive?

    (Sorry I could not show images. Clicking on them should work)

    Frank
     
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  2. Jack Roberts

    Jack Roberts Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I think they will somehow. Cars may become electric but farm, construction and other types of equipment will probably be fueled by petroleum for a while yet. Then there's fuel for aviation, lawnmowers, lots of stuff will still need fuel. Maybe not as much and there could be some consolidation in the industry but I think that although it may get smaller, big oil will hang on a while longer. ATT lost business when people stopped using so many landlines but they adapted. Chevron, Exxon and the others will likely do the same.
     
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  3. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Motor oil and gasoline are only a part of the fossil fuels industry. The bigger players are assorted specialty chemicals, plastics, artificial rubber, etc. I don't believe combustion engines will ever go away, at least for the foreseeable future. Electric cars sound like a good idea until you realize that the electrical grid in this country is already precarious, and each weather extreme season causes system outages and brownouts. Electrical power will need to have a major overhaul and additional infrastructure to power a nation and it's vehicles.

    Modern petrochemical giants began diversifying decades ago; they haven't rested on their gas station laurels.
     
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  4. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    Fossil fuel-burning engines will always be needed. There is no all electric-powered possibility for jets, ships, or the huge massive equipment that it takes to mine copper, aluminum, and other necessary elements that are part of supplying electricity. The enormity of the pipelines and necessary petroleum industry is something the controllers want to keep secret. Every aspect of their lives depends on it. When they talk of the people reducing "carbon emissions" that doesn't include them. Fossil fuel demands are increasing rapidly in China as they gear up for more factories with no regard for the environment or worker health and safety. Much of the USA's fossil fuels are going to China. Coal is still being mined on a massive scale in the USA and shipped to China. Beth has it right. All the products that depend on petroleum is an overlooked factor. Nearly everything depends on petroleum. Modern medicine is highly dependant on petroleum. When politics enters the discussion, then science leaves the discussion.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    One more aspect to powering up an electric car is the expense of charging the batteries. If one takes the amount of money it costs for a kwh and multiplies it times the charging time ( about 12 hours) then one can get a more realistic view of the expense.
    All that said, although our home has a 260 amp service, many only thrive on 100 amps so having 16-32 amps being drained from one’s system for 12 hours is almost foolish.
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole

    Interesting, but things work a bit differently.

    "Energy capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours, or the ability of a battery to deliver a set power output (in kilowatts) over a period of time (in hours). Even at highway speeds, most vehicles only need 20 to 30 kilowatts to keep themselves moving at a steady speed. So, depending on the vehicle, a 60-kWh battery might allow up to three hours of travel. Factors such as speed and outside temperature also heavily influence the rate of battery use."

    Let's say this hypothetical car ran at an average of 60 mph for 3 hours, consuming 60 KWH of electrical power. At my outlet, the juice costs about $0.10 per KWH, so a "refill" would cost $6.00 to travel 180 miles. My Ford Explorer getting 15 mpg would consume ~ 12 gallons of gasoline at $3.00 per, or $36.00 for fuel, compared to $6.00 for "juice". Clearly an irrefutable fuel cost savings.

    Besides, nobody ever said electric vehicles would move us about for free!

    Frank
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    It appears my reasoning zigged when it should have zagged Frank. Still, there is the point about the sit-down time.

    One other thing I was thinking about last night is; I know that Cummings has come out with an electric Tractor so I’m anxious to know how the truckers themselves feel about the rigs.

    They’re supposed to have that 270 mile range depending on the size of the load but again, the charging time is going to put a crimp in the scheduling for deliveries I would think.
    The plus side though might be that because the loads take longer to reach a long destination the truckers won’t have a problem getting a load because everything is going to be stacked and back-logged on the docks.
     
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  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I don’t know how all of the electric vehicles work; but with Robin’s Mini Cooper, when she is using gas fuel, then the battery is charging as she drives down the road. When she switches to battery, then she saves gas. If she didn’t charge or fill up the gas tank, eventually she would run out of fuel altogether; but the battery capability certainly makes her fuel tank last a lot longer by only needing to use it intermittently.

    Most of the hotels/motels have charging parking places for electric vehicles, and if the semi truck are going to use those, too, then the truck stops would probably also soon have charging capabilities.
    Tesla corporation has already designed charging stations that use solar power, so they would not even need electricity to run the charging stations, just charge up during the day, and the battery would charge vehicles at night.
     
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  9. James Hintze

    James Hintze Well-Known Member
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    Why aren't automobiles, and 18 wheelers too for that matter, equipped with solar panels on rooves, hoods, etc.? I recall during my full time day job I drove 20 miles each way and parked in an open parking lot. Our major highways could be covered by solar panels. I wouldn't mind driving in the shade.
     
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  10. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @James Hintze

    Experimentation is being done to bury solar panels within the highway pavement itself. Tremendous areas of pavement doing nothing more than carry vehicles as it is. So far, no soap.

    Frank
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I think that this is a concept that will work. It has been tried out on smaller areas of roads and parking lots, and Tesla would put solar panels on the roofs of their charging stations across the country.
    The Solar Roadways company is still struggling, but if a large corporation like Tesla were to take their ideas, I think that it could be made to work, and I think that in the future, using solar power is going to be viable.

     
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  12. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't know about the technology on this but guess it could work.
     
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  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I’ll have to look it up but off hand I do remember reading that there was a solar car race in Australia a number of years ago.

    Edit: So I did look up solar cars as a general search and here’s what I found.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_car

    Besides the looks of the thing I imagine there’s a problem with keeping the solar array clean from dust and snow.
    Added to that a top speed of 57+ MPH by a car which is outfitted for racing isn’t the greatest speed when one considers that the weight of 2 or more people that might be in a passenger car would bring the speed down considerably.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021

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