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Vol. 14, No. 4 Week of January 25, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: Peak Civil Technologies, with two years under its belt, exceeds growth projections

With high operating costs and tight timelines for meeting remote location infrastructure challenges, PCT proves failure is not an option

Peak Civil Technologies (PCT) is a division of Peak Oilfield Service Company specializing in designing and implementing solutions to unique infrastructure challenges of remote site development.

Q. Where is Peak Civil Technologies located?

A. The main office is at 2525 C Street, Suite 201, Anchorage, Alaska. The primary operation for Peak Oilfield Service Company is at Peak Base Camp in Deadhorse, Alaska.

 

 Q. When was the company founded, who founded it and what was its original name?

A. The new division was founded in December of 2006 by Dave Brangan as Peak Civil Technologies, a division of Peak Oilfield Service Company.

 

Q.  Who heads up your company, and who is on its senior management team?

A. The general manager is Dave Brangan, project lead is Eric Franklin, and the director of field operations is Trevor Hulet.

 

Q.  Describe any partnership arrangements and when they became effective.

A. We currently have a teaming agreement with Core Energy Solutions, Inc. (a Nabors- owned company) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The main purpose of this arrangement is to serve the needs of petroleum producers and their contractors with unique soils stabilization applications.

 Q.  What services does the company offer?

A. Our expertise is in soils stabilization in remote areas in marginal soils (sands and silts), concrete lifting and underpinning, installation and repair of secondary containment systems, industrial spray-on coatings, and concrete and foundation repair.

 

Q.  What is your company’s primary business sector and major clients?  

A. The petroleum industry is our primary business sector. Major clients include ConocoPhillips, BP, Fluor Enterprises and the Alaska Department of Transportation.

 

Q.  How many employees does your company have?

A. We currently have about 20 who are in Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay.

 

Q.  Does your company have subsidiaries?

A. Peak Civil Technologies is a division of Peak Oilfield Service Company. Our parent company provides ice road construction, rig support and moves, heavy hauling, lifts and picks, road maintenance, tank and vessel cleaning, facility construction and maintenance, fabrication, pipeline and onshore development, and industrial electrical installation and maintenance.

 

Q.  Describe your essential equipment in general terms. Purchases planned?

A. We use closed cell polyurethane for lifting settled concrete; we employ a machine called a plural component proportioner manufactured by either Gusmer Industries or Graco. We use specialty HTPE welding equipment, operated only by our certified technicians, for the secondary containment liner systems we install.

For soils stabilization we use a tail-mounted spray system for dispersing the soils strengthening fluids. A straw thrower is used to disperse soil fibers and they are blended with either a loader-mounted Zipper or a Howard Rotovator which is pulled by a large four-wheel drive tractor with over 100 hp PTO drive.

We are contemplating purchasing a modified lime spreader for better dispersion of soil fibers in windy conditions.

 

Q.  Is your company expanding any of its operations or locations?

A. We are considering projects in Cook Inlet, particularly involving secondary containment, and in Russia and possibly the Middle East with Fluor Enterprises. It’s good to diversify since every area has periods of expansion and contraction. Besides, if you’re not growing in this business (or trying to) you’re shrinking.

 

Q.  Is the company changing any of its services?

A. We are looking at ways to utilize biodegradable fiber compounds in our soil stabilization process so our clients will not have to concern themselves with reclamation. Environmentally sensitive areas such as Northern Alberta, Northern British Columbia and Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve have hydrocarbon reserves but marginal soils (sand mostly).

Integrating soil fibers increases compressive and shear strength of these soils, but conventional soil fibers (polypropylene) will not biodegrade. This makes reclamation mandatory for field developers after the oil and gas is extracted. An “earth friendly” biodegradable fiber which will maintain strength a reasonable length of time (5 to 10 years) but will biodegrade is of interest to our clients.

 

Q.  What is your company’s main strength, i.e., its edge over the competition?

A. As a division of Peak Oilfield Service Company, we have the material and human resources at our disposal to tackle the most challenging of projects. Further, the soils stabilization (The SF2® Soil System—patent pending) method and the concrete lifting technology we work with are pretty cutting edge. With secondary containment, five of our crew members hold certifications in hot gas extrusion welding for geo-synthetic liners. We know of no company in Alaska whose crew has more than one. We also have professional applicators on staff for spray-on polyurea liners and coatings of all types.

 

Q.  Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?

A. We have worked with the Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) in a study which furthered the development of our soils stabilization system. We continue to work with the AUTC, the Alaska Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers/ Engineering Research and Development Center, Pavement and Runways Division (Vicksburg, Mississippi) in furthering the technology. We also have invested in current certifications for five of our crew in welding geo-synthetic (HTPE) liners for secondary containment systems.

 

Q.  What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken? 

A. In late February of this year, we were asked to undertake emergency repairs to the secondary containment liner system in a very busy Greater Prudhoe Bay tank truck loading area. This involved removing several hundred yards of frozen soil and replacing the liner system. The project HAD to be completed and signed off as such by the EPA on or before April 15, 2008. Working round the clock, we completed it on the 14th of April.

 Q.   What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?

A. With the secondary containment work, permitting delays and/or engineering changes can adversely affect the schedule. It has been a challenge getting acceptance in some circles for our soils stabilization technology since it is so new. People can be reluctant to embrace change.

 

Q.   What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A. Like everyone else, we hope government on all levels will allow responsible development of Alaska’s resources. If development is allowed to continue, we see a bright future for PCT.

 

Q.  Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?

A.  As a division of Peak Oilfield Service Company (which has been in business over 20 years), Peak Civil Technologies will be officially engaged two years come December 19, 2008. We have had strong and sustainable growth in 2008 which should carry us into 2009 and beyond.

 

Q.  What is the average length of time employees work for the company?

A. While we’ve only been around for two years, we still have the same field crew (which has grown) we started with. We are not currently hiring but plan to after the first of the year (2009). We are always looking for motivated individuals, especially in project management.

Q.  What is your company’s safety record?

A. Peak Oilfield Service Company has one of the best safety records in the Alaska oil patch. Peak Civil Technologies has worked hard to maintain that record.

 

Q.  Does Peak Civil Technologies maintain a website?

A. You can get hold of us on the Web at www.peakalaska.com, at our office, 2525 C Street, Suite 201, or by calling 907-263-7071.



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