"The State of Alaska has collected more than $160 billion from oil & gas since 1959."

History – 1970′s


  • William Egan (D) elected Governor (1970-1974).
  • State petroleum revenues leap to 88% of unrestricted general fund.
  • Cook Inlet oil production peaks at 225,000 barrels per day (bpd).
  • Alaska population: 300,382


  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) passed by Congress; clears way for authorization of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).


  • Vice President Agnew casts tie-breaking vote, authorizing construction of the 800-mile pipeline.
  • Arab oil embargo reduces America’s oil supply causing gasoline shortages.


  • Jay Hammond (R) elected Governor (1974–1978).
  • Construction begins on TAPS; estimated cost $900 million.


  • TAPS 50% complete, employing a peak work force of 28,072.
  • Wellhead price of U.S. crude oil more than doubles in three years to $7.56 per barrel.


  • Alaskans pass constitutional amendment creating the Permanent Fund.
  • First federal offshore lease sale (OCS) held in Alaska (Gulf of Alaska).


  • TAPS complete; largest project ever constructed with total workforce of 70,000, final costs of $8 billion.
  • Prudhoe Bay production begins; projected 9.6 billion total recoverable reserves.
  • Earth Resources Co. (now Flint Hills) refinery comes on-line in North Pole.


  • Governor Hammond (R) re-elected (1978-1982).
  • Endicott discovered; first offshore oil field in the U.S. Arctic (production begins 1987).


  • Iranian revolution causes second oil embargo and oil supply shortage.
  • Wellhead price of U.S. crude oil exceeds $10 per barrel.
  • Joint Federal/State Beaufort Sea lease sale receives bids totaling more than $1 billion.
  • 1,000th tanker leaves Valdez.
  • Petroleum revenue doubles in one year ($821 million); 73% of unrestricted general fund, which exceeds $1 billion for first time.