The Alaska corporation commonly known as Alyeska Pipeline Company was founded in 1970 to design, construct, operate and maintain a pipeline to transport oil from the fields on the North Slope of Alaska where oil was discovered in 1968 to an ice-free deep-water port in Valdez, AK. The pipeline was built between March 1975 and June 1977, running from the North Slope fields at Prudhoe Bay to the Marine Terminal at Valdez on Prince William Sound. Alyeska then went on to operate and maintain TAPS. The first oil flowed into the pipeline on June 20, 1977 and the first tanker load departed from Valdez on August 1, 1977.
The major owner of the company is BP with 46.93% of the shares dating from the acquisition of ARCO. The other group members are ConocoPhillips Transportation (shares formerly owned by ARCO and acquired by Phillips during its acquisition of ARCO Alaska as part of the settlement between BP and the FTC) (28.29%), Exxon Mobil (20.34%), Koch Alaska Pipeline Company (3.08%), and Unocal (1.36%). The government responsibility in regulating TAPS is managed through the Joint Pipeline Office (, JPO), a consortium of thirteen federal and state agencies under the Department of the Interior.
The corporation is named after an Aleut word meaning "mainland". It is headquartered in Anchorage and has around 900 employees.
The thirty-year TAPS State and Federal land leases were due to expire in 2004. The State Lease was renewed for another thirty years on November 26, 2002 and a matching Federal Record of Decision for Right-of-Way was signed on January 8, 2003.