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New from the University of Alaska Press: 'Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil'

by Jamie Gonzales  |   

'Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil' from UA PressThe University of Alaska Press announces publication of Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil: The Epic Voyage of the SS Manhattan Through the Northwest Passage, a nonfiction book by Ross Coen with a foreword by Lawson Brigham.

In 1969, an icebreaking tanker, the SS Manhattan, was commissioned by Humble Oil to transit the Northwest Passage in order to test the logistical and economic feasibility of an all-marine transportation system for Alaska North Slope crude oil. Proposed as an alternative to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the Manhattan made two voyages to the North American Arctic and collected volumes of scientific data on ice conditions and the behavior of ships in ice.

The Manhattan ultimately demonstrated the impracticality of moving crude oil using icebreaking ships.

Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil details this historic voyage, establishing its significant impact on the future of marine traffic and resource development in the Arctic and setting the stage for the current oil crisis.

Ross Coen works at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has published numerous articles on Alaska and arctic history in the Northern Review, Alaska Magazine, Alaska History and other publications.

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