It costs a mere one or two cents per gallon to transport oil by tanker. Today oil prices fell to $36.22 a barrel–their lowest level in more than four years. Imagine how much revenue the federal government would generate if it would just tax a gallon of gas to a minimum of six dollars per gallon. Perhaps it would be sufficient to provide universal health care and make necessary infrastructure improvements and investments in energy sources that would free us from our dependence on dirty crude? I digress.
Yesterday while I waited for Kirsten to take her algebra final I read the newspaper, drank copious amounts of coffee and took pictures of lighthouses and oil tankers.
The oil tankers offload in Portland because it has a natural deepwater, ice free harbor. The Portland-Montreal Pipe Line carries the oil to refineries in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The tanker unloading facility consists of a newly renovated pier in South Portland, Maine on the shores of Casco Bay. The pier is capable of accommodating and discharging two vessels at a time with each vessel carrying more than a million barrels of crude. The tank farm in South Portland consists of 23 tanks with approximately 3.5 million barrels of storage capacity. Two pipelines (18 inch and 24 inch) and eight pump stations are operated out of the South Portland, Maine operations center, which moves the crude from the South Portland tank farm to refineries and the tank farm in Montreal.
The photo of the tanker’s bridge, above, was taken with my 50mm f/1.8 lens through the bulky blue binoculars in the photo below.