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Old 10-26-2010, 05:29 PM   #37
MTrider16 OP
Ridin' in MT
 
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Montana
Oddometer: 1,499


Saturday August 14, 2010 – Day 9 – “Prudhoe Bay”

I got up and ate breakfast at the cafeteria. Today the tour would take me out to the ocean, and after that I wanted to get to Fairbanks yet tonight. Since the tour started at 8:00, I wanted to be packed, fueled and ready to go when it finished. It took a little looking but I found the gas pump at the NANA yard.

A tidbit of information, NANA is a service company founded and backed by the native tribes in the area. Seems like a reasonable way to invest the money from the oil royalties.

Here I’m parked at the Arctic Caribou Inn where the tour starts after a brief propaganda video by the oil companies. This is the oil companies chance to tell their story, if you want environmentalist’s point of view you’ll have to visit Sierra Club or some other place.

Ralph and Stephane were here already so I parked by their bikes and went in to look them up. It was fun to talk with them as they worked with a Mullin Trucking Company in Calgary, specializing in oversized loads. They said that they were stopped yesterday and given a warning ticket for speeding, so they didn’t catch up with me after Coldfoot.




After the video, we loaded up onto a bus and were taken out to the field. We went past some of the service company’s yards in Deadhorse. Here are some of the Rolligon’s that you may have seen on Ice Road Truckers.




Once we were past the security checkpoint we went past another work camp for this part of the field.



The well sites were interesting for me to see. The oil is brought up under its own pressure, so pump jacks are not needed. One site will have multiple wells, the small shacks, and the oil is treated at the central building at the site. There are several lines leaving the well site going to the pipeline terminal, and other services.

I was impressed with the oil field, it was cleaner than the ones I’m used to seeing here in eastern Montana.




The water and natural gas removed by the treatment onsite are injected back into the field to maintain the positive pressure on the oil. Some natural gas is siphoned off and burned by the generators that supply electricity for the field.

Directional drilling is the norm here, in fact they have one rig parked out on an island, and it is drilling a hole 2 miles down and 8 miles out into the ocean.





The drift wood probably comes from the Mackenzie River a few miles down the coast.




The Arctic Ocean!!!!!



Yep, I was there too.

I need to take a moment and explain the hat. It’s a “Call Before You Dig” giveaway from work and I want to thank my co-workers that were cheering me on as I made this trip.




So the tour ended at 10:30 and I was finally on the road at 10:45. Yikes!! I was going to make a push and try to get to Fairbanks tonight.

I did have to stop and take a picture of the caribou racks that were harvested on the North Slope. It was archery only.




I only took pictures when I was stopped. Here are some from a construction zone.




They are paving more of the road. I waited 30 minutes for the pilot car.




My front suspension has a problem; I’m only using 4” of the 10” stroke.

I arrived in Fairbanks at 10:00 pm, just in time for the Taco Bell lobby close. I had to go through the drive through, which was a bit of a challenge. lol

Stats for Day 9: 498 miles, 12.6 gallons of fuel, 9.75 hours







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Riding roads in Montana - Big Sky Country
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Mountains, Moose, and Miles: a Montanan's Alcan Highway Story
Continental Divide and More: the "No Dust" Tour of WY and MT
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