The original Hazelet and Meals Homesteads, totaling 700 acres of land were filed in 1899. On “Good Friday” 1964 an earthquake destroyed the Town of Valdez and the Army Corps of Engineers declared the ground under the town permanently unstable. It was decided to move the “Town” to Hazelet/Meals lands and The Port Valdez Company, Inc. (PVC) was formed on May 21, 1964 to assist in relocating the City of Valdez from its original location (“Old Town”) to its present location (“New Town”).
Of the original 700 acres of land owned by the Hazelet and Meals families, 110 acres were given to the City of Valdez for its “New Town.”
In exchange, PVC received a twenty-year tax credit on its remaining 590 acres. Initially, the PVC leased and later sold land to Alyeska for the Black Gold Subdivision and Standard Oil for tank storage. In 1976, the PVC formed the Mineral Creek Land Co., a wholly owned subsidiary to develop portions of the PVC’s remaining land. This was done to allow PVC to remain as a land holding company for tax purposes. Financially, the Port Valdez Company (PVC), Inc. has performed solidly over the years. It has continued to develop its lands and maintained a record of distributing dividends to the shareholders.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay, AK in 1968.
The pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States. The project attracted tens of thousands of workers to Alaska, causing a boomtown atmosphere in Valdez, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.
The first barrel of oil traveled through the pipeline and arrived in Valdez June 20, 1977, and full-scale production began by the end of the year.
The launch of the pipeline transformed Alaska from a frontier state to an economic force. In its 38+ years of operation, TAPS has generated over $183 billion in state revenue, and the oil and gas industry accounts for roughly 92 percent of the state’s discretionary funds.
There are still approximately 40 billion barrels of known reserves on the North Slope and its off-shore environs.
PHOTO CREDIT: 1964 Earthquake, Anchorage, Alaska by U.S. Army"