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Vol. 13, No. 46 Week of November 16, 2008
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry


40 Years at Prudhoe Bay: Alaskans remember Prudhoe Bay — Roger Herrera

Nancy Pounds

Most Alaskans don’t remember what Alaska’s economy looked like before the discovery and development of Prudhoe Bay. Only 14 percent of about 670,000 Alaskans today lived in the state in 1968, the year of the Prudhoe Bay discovery, according to Scott Goldsmith, economics professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. So nearly nine out of every 10 residents today know little about Alaska prior to major development on the North Slope, he said. Goldsmith compared 1968 and 2008 in a recent report called, “How North Slope oil has transformed Alaska’s economy.” A few longtime Alaskans, participants and decision-makers during Alaska’s major economic changes, recently recalled events of the era.

In the late 1960s, a British Petroleum geologist Roger Herrera walked the North Slope foothills and interpreted seismic data. He had joined the international oil producer in 1960. Herrera saw firsthand the changes for BP and Alaska, resulting from oil development on the North Slope. The Prudhoe Bay....


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