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Supertanker Poems

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Premium Member Poem The Alaskan Pipeline Dennis Spilchuk Verse Verse supertanker, education, environment, history, technology,

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Above are examples of poems about supertanker. This list of poems is composed of the works of modern international poet members of PoetrySoup. Read short, long, best, famous, and modern examples of supertanker poetry. This list of works is an excellent resource for examples of these types of poems.

Supertanker Poem Example

The Alaskan Pipeline

The Alaskan Pipeline

1968 confirmed the year 
Of discovery by Humble Oil
To North America’s largest oil field,
On the North Slope of the Brooks Range,
A west to east 
Northern Alaskan mountain chain.
An area 40 miles wide by 15 miles deep,
(Although, flat as a skating rink)
Following the coast of the Beaufort Sea.
Located two hundred and fifty miles up the globe, 
From the Arctic Circle,
And twelve hundred miles South, 
Below the North Pole,
Between the NPRA (The National Petroleum Reserve),
And the ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). 
In an area called Prudhoe Bay, Alaska:
Named by Sir John Franklin, 
An officer and explorer in the British Navy,
In honor of his classmate Admiral Algernon Percy,
The 4th. Duke of Northumberland.
To put it in perspective, 
It doubles that of the next largest oil field
In the USA, 
That lays in Texas.
An interesting feature is that the oil rises to the wellhead
Under its geological pressure, no pumping required!
Producing a million barrels of crude oil
Or forty-two million gallons, U.S. per day. 

For years, the oil companies and the protectionists
Had been embroiled over disputes regarding
The environment, law enforcement and native concerns. 
With the creation of Earth Day in 1970,—
Twenty million demonstrators staged organized protests
Across the land and their voices rang, 
But this would soon change.
Oil embargo!—1973:
By OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries),
Against the USA 
For supporting the Israelis against the Arabs,
During the Yom Kippur War,
Created world shortages and skyrocketing oil prices.
The “First Shock” oil crisis and the US vowed;—
Never to be 'held hostage' to oil dependency and blackmail again.
(The “Second Shock” oil crisis occurred in 1979.)
Both Houses of government passed legislation and,
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act of 1973
Was signed into Law by President Nixon:
To build TAPS (Trans Alaskan Pipeline System),
Prudhoe Bay to Valdez;—
Essentially, halting all legal challenges to its construction.
However, as a result of the opposition to the project,
Environmental concerns and regulatory laws were enacted:
Following the executive order by Nixon in nineteen-seventy, 
Establishing the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
The boom was underway, — workers flocked to Alaska,
To secure high paying jobs and spin off opportunities,
As in the old days of the gold rushes.  

The route would traverse the heartland of Alaska:
With steel pipe made in Japan,
Weighing 550,000 tons;—
Over 100,000 pieces in all:
Forty to sixty feet long, 
Half an inch thick and four feet in diameter.
Zigzagging its way south for eight hundred miles,
(To compensate for expansion, contraction and earthquakes),
From Prudhoe Bay to the ice free port of Valdez,
On the Pacific coast at Prince William Sound.
Three years later, — After a staggering 
Eight billion dollar cost and thirty-two fatalities;
The 'Alyeska Pipeline Service Company'
Completed the Mega project (on time).  
June 20, 1977 — 'Oil In Day'
Headlined in the Alaskan newspapers, 
As hot crude flowed from Prudhoe Bay, 
Via the pipeline,
Into the Valdez Marine Terminal storage tanks.
To be pumped into Supertankers and shipped
To the lower forty-eight States.  
At the heart is the OCC (Operations Control Center) 
Located in Anchorage, Alaska:
That can initiate an emergency shutdown;— 
And stop oil flowing,
And isolate the pipeline in fifteen minutes;—
By use of seventy-one gate valves
Incorporated into the pipeline system to open or close,
To block the flow in either direction,
And prevent an environmental catastrophe.  

Half of the line lies on supports above the ground:
Designed with heat sinks to dissipate the heat in the soil,
To maintain colder temperatures,
Between the air and pipe during winter to prevent thawing,
That would create unstable conditions;—
Due to the melting of the ice in the Permafrost.
(A thick layer of soil that remains frozen all year round.)
And preservation of wildlife migration routes
For animals, namely the caribou who can pass under it.
The other 400 miles lies underground in a padded sand buffer, 
To prevent damage to the pipe by rock and other materials.
Designed in conjunction with the pipeline system are:
Grounding rods and sacrificial zinc ribbons  
Strategically placed to reduce the risk of corrosion.
Where the line crosses the three strike-slip faults,
(Aka wrench faults — rocks move horizontally)
The pipe rides on teflon shoes that slide on beams
In the event of an earthquake.
Devices known as cleaning pigs are discharged into the line,
To sweep pipe build ups that precipitate out of the oil stream, 
And could disrupt the flow!
Over three mountain ranges
And eight-hundred river and stream crossings:
Eleven booster stations pump to keep the oil flowing, 
In the pipeline that coils like a metal snake, 
Through the environment 
To the oil port at Prince William Sound;—
Named after the Spanish naval captain, 
Antonia Valdez in 1790. 

Since, the 'Exxon Valdez'
Supertanker oil spill disaster of 1989:
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 mandates 
All Alaskan-class oil tankers,
VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) class 
Be built double hulled!
These Supertankers are built in San Diego, USA:
941.6 feet long, 164 feet wide with a draft of 61.7 feet,
(i.e.; two and a half football fields long, one wide and one-half deep).
Carrying approximately one and half million barrels of oil by sea,
To the lower mainland and off-shore destinies.

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