In 1970 in Inuvik, Canada on the Mackenzie River, 2 degrees above the Arctic Circle, Secretary Hickel inspected the test site for an above- ground, hot-oil pipeline. The Prudhoe Bay oil surfaces at 140 degrees F and the hot-oil pipeline had to avoid subterranean permafrost lenses that if melted could crack the pipeline. Once completed in 1977, TAPS became the largest project in the history of free enterprise.
USGS Director Dr. Bill Pecora briefs Secretary Hickel prior to his inspection of one of the test sites that Hickel ordered to be drilled every 500 feet along the 800-mile pipeline route. In locations where permafrost was discovered, “stantions” were put in place to elevate the pipeline above ground – an expensive, but necessary, precaution.