April 03, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 32April 2002

Alyeska to cut 150 staff positions, 150 contractors

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. today announced plans to reduce its staff by about 150 positions at the company's Anchorage, Fairbanks and Valdez offices. The changes, to be completed by the end of the year, focus primarily on administrative, management and support functions and will reduce the total Alyeska headcount to about 900 employees, the company said.

In addition to employees, Alyeska said it will reduce contractor support throughout the organization by about 150 positions over the coming months.

Alyeska President and CEO David Wight said eliminating duplication between the three offices and centralizing functions improves the company's overall operations as well as helping to control costs.

"Streamlining the organization is part of redesigning Alyeska, to manage current North Slope throughput levels," Wight said.

Of the 150 positions being eliminated from the company, about 50 are from Valdez, 60 from Fairbanks and 40 from Anchorage. Alyeska said it will also relocate a number of positions to Anchorage and Fairbanks to provide the centralized support functions.

Yukon government close to toppling after resignations

Yukon Premier Pat Duncan, the most outspoken Canadian supporter of an Alaska Highway gas pipeline, is on the brink of losing control of the territorial government.

Three members of Duncan's Liberal caucus in the legislature have resigned, accusing the premier of not listening to caucus members. Their departure leaves the Liberals with a minority government, holding eight seats, against five New Democrats, the three new independent members and one member of the Yukon party.

Don Roberts said he left because Duncan and her advisers made a lot of decisions, leaving the caucus to operate as a rubber stamp.

Mike McLarnon said Duncan took most of her direction from unelected Liberal party members, staff and the federal government.

Wayne Jim, the third to leave the government ranks, said of Duncan: "It was her way or no way."

Both Jim and Duncan were fired from cabinet in early January, but said their action in jumping ship was not a case of revenge.

"If we wanted to sabotage this government, we would have had access to 1,000 ways to do it," McLarnon said.

Duncan said the allegations were "news to us," saying those who resigned had presented a list of "bullying demands." She did not indicate how the government will handle its loss of a majority.

The usual response from minority governments is to seek a coalition with one of the other parties, or call a election to seek a renewed mandate.

ANS production edges up, led by Northstar

The volume of Alaska North Slope crude oil production changed very little from February to March, edging up 0.39 percent, an increase of 4,058 barrels a day. ANS production averaged 1,055,952 barrels per day in March, compared to 1,051,894 bpd in February.

The Alaska Department of Revenue said ANS production dipped March 2 and 4 related to trans-Alaska pipeline vapor pressure adjustments at all fields.

The largest percentage and per-barrel growth was at Northstar, which began producing in November. The field averaged 50,201 bpd in March, up 38.9 percent (14,061 bpd) from February.

Production at Lisburne averaged only 60,296 bpd in March, down 16.76 percent (12,138 bpd) from February. Revenue said compressor work was done at Lisburne mid-month.

Prudhoe Bay production averaged 548,376 bpd in March, up 0.14 percent (762 barrels) from February. Kuparuk River production averaged 218,922 bpd in March, up 2.95 percent (6,267 bpd) from February.

All other North Slope fields had decreased production from February to March. Milne Point averaged 49,177 bpd in March, down 3.61 percent (1,844 bpd) from February. Endicott averaged 33,625 bpd in March, down 0.02 percent (7 barrels) from February. Alpine averaged 95,355 bpd in March, down 3.09 percent (3,043 bpd) from February.

Cook Inlet production averaged 31,352 bpd in March, down 0.88 percent (277 barrels) from February.

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