In 1962, Standard Oil Company built the first and only oil refinery in Alaska, located on the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski. Over the years the refinery changed hands to Tesoro (which operated it for many years), and more recently to Conoco-Phillips and then Marathon Oil. The refinery employs many Nikiski residents.
A pipeline runs from this location transporting petroleum products to the Port of Anchorage. See below for more information.
Lowell Hunt, Virgil Deane and H.G. Vesper at the 1962 groundbreaking ceremony for the refinery.
Aerial view of Standard Oil Refinery, circa 1964, with port terminal beyond (photo from UAA)
Aerial view of Standard Oil Refinery, circa 1964 (photo from UAA)
Marathon Refinery in 2021 (Photo Credit: Marathon Petroleum)
The Nikiski Alaska Pipeline was constructed in 1976. The pipeline has a 10.75-inch outside diameter and transports refined petroleum products (jet fuel, gasoline and diesel) from Tesoro’s [Marathon's] Kenai Refinery to the Port of Anchorage.
Nikiski Alaska Pipeline is a buried pipeline that begins at Tesoro Alaska Pipeline Company’s (Tesoro) [now Marathon] Kenai Refinery in Nikiski. The pipeline route runs along the Kenai Spur Highway through the Captain Cook State Recreation Area, and then parallels the coast to Point Possession before crossing the Turnagain Arm. The pipeline route continues along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, through the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and then along Northern Lights Boulevard. The pipeline runs near the Alaska Railroad right-of-way for the remainder of the route, terminating at the Port of Anchorage.
Original ROW Lease Dates
Amended Lease Dates
System Length (approx. miles)
Normal Wall Thickness (inches)
Associated ADL Numbers
Nikiski Alaska Pipeline route