Author`s name Alex Naumov

Oil companies spend millions to win voters in Alaska

Oil companies have spent more than $1.4 million in recent months on advertising in a bid to win voter support for its views on oil taxes and a natural gas pipeline.

The Alaska Oil and Gas Association spent more than $800,000 on ads and public relations last fall.

That's according to the Anchorage Daily News, based on lobbying reports filed with the state.

The industry was grappling with the state over an oil tax hike at the time and was unsuccessful in convincing the state to keep the tax from rising.

The reports cover the last three months of 2007 and show the oil company Conoco Phillips spent about $600,000 in December alone on advertising.

The ads were intended to convince Alaskans to support its proposal for a $30 billion natural gas pipeline from the North Slope, the AP reports.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System usually called the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska or the Alaska Pipeline elsewhere, is a major U.S. oil pipeline connecting oil fields in northern Alaska to a sea port where the oil can be shipped to the Lower 48 states for refining.

The main Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs north to south, almost 800 miles (1,300 km), from the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the Gulf of Alaska at Valdez, Alaska, passing near several Alaskan towns, including Wiseman, Bettles, Livengood, Fox, Fairbanks, and Glennallen.

Construction of the pipeline presented significant challenges due to the remoteness of the terrain and the harshness of the environment it had to pass through. Between Arctic Alaska and Valdez, there were three mountain ranges, active fault lines, miles of unstable, boggy ground underlain with frost, and migration paths of caribou and moose. Geological activity has damaged the pipeline on several occasions.

Since its completion in 1977, the pipeline has transported over 15 billion barrels of oil.