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Vol. 12, No. 29 Week of July 22, 2007
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

PETROLEUM DIRECTORY: Company news in brief

Acuren recognizes significant personnel changes

At the end of May, Kim Harker, managing director for Alaska, wrapped up his time in Alaska with plans to leave the state. George Bryant was promoted from alternate project manager for the North Slope to managing director for Alaska. Karen DeMichelis has been hired for the position of regional controller in Alaska and Brent Rolph, was promoted from tank and vessel coordinator to alternate project manager on the North Slope.?Acuren is the largest materials engineering, non-destructive testing and inspection company in the world.?Highlights since the company’s debut on the North Slope in 2002 have included the opening of an Anchorage office in August 2004, as well as adding offices in Kenai and Fairbanks. The company employs over 200 people in Alaska, and plans to continue its commitment to hiring and training Alaskans to work in the NDT industry.

Acuren is headquartered in Greenwich, CT with more than 60 offices in North America.

Alaska Railroad Corporation posts earnings of $10.4 million

The Alaska Railroad Corporation released its 2006 Annual Report on March 30, revealing earnings of $10.4 million and total revenues of $148.9 million.

“The Alaska Railroad had another solid year,” said Governor Bill Sheffield who chaired the Alaska Railroad Board during 2006. “Safety, infrastructure and technology comprised the focus of our planned investments this year and we met most of our ambitious goals in each area.”

Among the report’s highlights is the best overall safety record in Railroad history. Passenger revenues surpassed the budget, and overall corporate assets grew considerably. In addition, for the first time, the railroad issued tax exempt revenue bonds.

“2006 capped a very successful five-year plan,” said Pat Gamble, ARRC President and CEO. “As we review the progress of the past five years, we have already started to compile the lessons learned for our next five-year plan. Executing a well planned operations and investment strategy increases benefits to our customers, the State of Alaska and the bottom line.”

The Alaska Railroad is a state-owned corporation, wholly self-sustaining without benefit of state subsidy. Revenue generated by the railroad covers all operating costs including employee wages and benefits. The railroad generates revenue through year-round passenger and freight service to communities from Seward to Fairbanks and through its management of real estate holdings along the railbelt.

John Dittrich named Arctic Structures GM in Alaska

Anchorage-based Arctic Structures is pleased to announce the appointment of John Dittrich as general manager of Alaska operations.?John will be responsible for the day to day activities of the company including marketing, operations and finance. A lifelong Alaskan, Dittrich brings a wealth of experience from previous roles including general manager of Brooks Range Supply, vice president of finance for ASRC Energy Services and most recently CFO of Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation.

?Dittrich has served on a number of nonprofit boards in Anchorage and is presently the treasurer of the Petroleum Club of Anchorage, treasurer of Hope Community Resources and was just recently elected to serve on the board of the Friends of Campbell Creek Science Center.?

Arctic Structures is an Alaskan corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Arcticor Structures, based in Calgary, AB. Combined, they operate three manufacturing facilities located in Edmonton, AB, Calgary AB and Palmer, AK. For more information please visit

Cellular One announces wireless Samaritans

Nine Cellular One wireless users from across the country have been recognized as 2007 VITA Wireless Samaritans.

All honorees are being lauded by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association during National Wireless Safety Week that runs June 11 through June 17.

“Every day millions of emergency calls are placed on wireless telephones around the country,” said Cellular One spokesman Craig Davis. “These honorees are great examples of how important wireless products and services have become in American life.”

CTIA honors wireless Samaritans annually and highlights their stories to members of Congress and the press to bring awareness to the important role wireless telephones play in emergency situations.

Cellular One, which operates markets in 17-states and is a leading wireless telecommunications provider in rural America, has been a key partner with CTIA’s Wireless Foundation in the VITA Wireless Samaritan Awards for the last seven years.

Dennis Waldron from Sitka, Alaska was recognized this year. Waldron was out riding his ATV in the snow when he went over the edge of a steep slope and slid down into a ravine. He attempted to hike out and find a road. Eventually Waldron’s flashlight died and he couldn’t make his way out of the steep, slick terrain in the dark. Waldron then used his cell phone to call 9-1-1, but he was unable to describe his location. Rescuers were able to locate Waldron’s ATV tracks near the edge of the slope. The rescue team continued down until they spotted the light from the snowmobile. Steps were cut for him, rope was used as a hand line, and Waldron was able to walk to the top of the ravine to safety.

Other 2007 Cellular One Wireless Samaritans are: Marti Mason, Gaylord, Michigan; Sue Porath, Central Bridge, New York; Susan Moss, Bennett, Wisconsin; Terry Moon, Central Lake, Michigan; Bob McDonald, Duluth, Minnesota; Christy Holmes, Shiner, Texas; Kim Pollard, Hagerstown, Maryland; Ben Harstad, Duluth, Minnesota.

Cellular One will award each of its 2007 Wireless Samaritans with a new wireless telephone and a citation of congratulations. For more information on the products and services of Cellular One, visit:

NACLink adds Shiloh MacCabe to operations Team

NACLink, the freight forwarding division of Northern Air Cargo recently hired Shiloh MacCabe as operations supervisor. MacCabe is responsible for the daily activities and operations of the NACLink office located at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. She comes to NACLink with 14 years of extensive customer service and operations experience in Alaska’s transportation industry.

NAClink provides customers with logistic services moving freight to and from the lower 48 to any destination throughout Alaska. “It’s a one-stop shop for getting your precious cargo to where you need it” stated MacCabe, a native of Napa, California. She moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1991, and will be providing services to individuals and Alaska businesses alike. NacLink is a member of the Saltchuk companies.

NACLink adds Roslyn Mitchell as GM

NACLink, has also recently hired Roslyn Mitchell as general manager of NAClink.

Mitchell comes to NACLink with 16 years of extensive operations and customer service experience in Alaska’s transportation industry. NACLink provides customers with logistic services moving freight domestically to and from any U.S. origin and destination.

Mitchell will be responsible for managing NACLink operations and sales.

Northwest Technical Services celebrates milestones

The Anchorage branch of parent company PDS Technical Services, a privately held technical staffing company, has a lot to be proud of this summer. Not only is PDS celebrating its 30 year anniversary, North West Technical Services is celebrating an impressive 25 years as the company’s first branch office.

Another notable anniversary being celebrated is Mary Shields’ 20th year as NWTS’s general manager. Shields and Judy Peterson, office administrator, have both been with the company since 1985.

And while NWTS plans to attend the corporate party in Dallas this July, it also plans to throw a party for its local office later this fall. In theory, both celebrations will be “mostly play” said Shields.

And these women, according to most people’s standards, deserve some play time. Shields is the past president of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance and a past president of the Workers Compensation Committee of Alaska, while Peterson is the immediate past president of the WCCA. “We keep involved with what’s going on out there,” says Shields, who’s also involved with the Alaska Federation of Business Professionals, “if you’re in business in Alaska you’re either really involved or you have to ignore everything.”

And involvement definitely has its perks in their line of work. “A lot of what we do is with the oil and gas sector and there are a lot of issues out there that affect the industry, we have to keep on top of those things,” said Shields.

Since NWTS deals with personnel on an almost exclusive basis, the staff finds it necessary to know what’s going on with the department of labor, workers compensation and worker classifications, among other things. “We can’t wait for someone to tell us we should have been doing something different,” Shields said, “we need to be leaders, or as close to the leaders as possible in that area.”

Business as a whole is going strong for NWTS. The company has dealt with industry changes in the past and plans to continue to develop and mold itself to client’s needs. “We like people. Everyone in this office likes working with people,” said Peterson. “There are some great people in the oil and gas industry and in the other industries we work with. It makes it fun. It’s great being able to put someone to work in a job they really like to do. That’s a win-win for everybody. The client, the employee, and for us,” explained Shields.

And Shields readily credits her staff for the company’s longevity. Peterson also pointed out the ongoing contracts with the oil companies in the state. “That’s our life-blood,” she says, “and they continue to work with us because we fulfill those contracts in a way that they like. We’re effective. And our rates are fair; we’ve kept costs down throughout the ups and downs.”

NWTS has built a solid reputation in Alaska. “Clients ask for something and they know we’re not going to mess around and waste time. We can either fulfill a particular request when it’s needed or we immediately search other options,” stressed Shields, “an honest business person counts in this industry.”

“It all comes down to our staff, which is committed to placing the ‘right people in the right jobs’, our highly qualified contract employees and our satisfied clients.” Peterson said, “those things have been our three major keys to success.”

Anchorage photographer launches new Web site

Local Anchorage photographer Paul Andrew Lawrence has just launched a new Web site for Alaska stock photography, The site allows customers to browse among hundreds of images and buy online with immediate download of right-managed photographs suitable for use in advertising, print, and Web design.

Paul Andrew Lawrence, a native of Norway, came to the United States in 1981 to earn a degree in film from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. Lawrence has worked extensively for European and North American companies, primarily for the oil and hospitality industry, shooting national ad campaigns, annual reports, and other forms of publicity.

Coming to Alaska in 1991, he worked as a commercial pilot, flying professionally for a few years in rural western Alaska before opening an aerial photography business in 2001 out of Anchorage. His mission is to make the state look good: not only to capture and share its scenic natural beauty, but also to illustrate the vibrancy of the industries here, their positive influence and their clean and minimal environmental impact.

The Web site contains a wide variety of images from around the world, but focuses on the oil exploration and production industry, as well as tourism, here in Alaska.

Lawrence’s small business, P.A. Lawrence, LLC, is located at Merrill Field in Anchorage. He offers both stock photography and stock videography, where stock video images in HDV can be made available for corporate presentations, commercials, documentaries, etc.

Rain for Rent introduces new high-flow pump

Rain for Rent is proud to offer one of the newest innovations in high-flow pumps.? The electric VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) DV-400 16” pump is an essential part of any bypass pumping system.? Unlike other electric pumps, the VFD DV-400’s motor speed can be modified, allowing for variable flow rates.? The VFD DV-400 has the capability to produce flow rates up to 13,000 GPM with 130 feet of total dynamic head and can be designed to simultaneously run two slave pumps.? Features include solids handling up to 4-1/2”, run dry capacity and quiet electric motor.? Combined with Rain for Rent’s total solution approach, the VFD DV-400 provides users with a high flow bypass solution that is efficient, safe and environmentally friendly.

For more information on Rain for Rent’s products and services, call nationwide, (800)742-7246.

Schlumberger announces latest release of Petrel

?Schlumberger announced on May 16 the release of Petrel 2007.1 seismic-to-simulation software, which includes significant new functionality and scalability for all disciplines in exploration and development, and continued advances in productivity and collaboration.

“Petrel 2007.1 is the most comprehensive release to date. It delivers a step change in productivity for geoscientists and engineers; collaboration from the field to office and back; and a shared understanding of risk and uncertainty enabling better decisions, in less time,” said Olivier Le Peuch, president, Schlumberger Information Solutions.

New seismic performance and scalability in Petrel 2007.1 improve the productivity of exploration teams to deliver more high quality prospects, faster.

Highlights of new and expanded Petrel 2007.1 capabilities include enhanced seismic performance, handling and scalability for data sets up to 60 gigabytes on the desktop and an optional connection to a Linux cluster server for terabyte range data sets.

Additional capabilities include new fractured reservoir modeling supporting creation of discrete fracture networks and ECLIPSE reservoir simulation dual porosity models; multisegmented well support to accurately model the fluid physics in horizontal wellbores; and drilling enhancements including WITSML real-time data feeds for logs, events and trajectories for immediate incorporation in Petrel for real-time monitoring and modeling.

“The enhanced seismic performance in Petrel 2007.1 provides a quantum leap in productivity for our exploration teams,” said Alan Clare, geological manager, Apache Egypt.

Petrel 2007.1 is built on the Ocean framework facilitating rapid updates and easy integration and deployment of proprietary and specialty functionality. The Ocean open development allows universities, third party vendors and clients to quickly add innovative functionality into the Petrel environment.

Unique Machine obtains dual certifications for quality

Unique Machine, the largest machine shop operator in Alaska, has become the first Alaskan company to be both API Q1 and ISO 9001 certified for general machining services and the proprietary threading of casing and tubing.

Both certificates were obtained by Unique Machine following extensive reviews by a committee of the American Petroleum Institute Quality Registrar, the certifying body.

“Obtaining the ISO and API quality accreditations is a testament to the people within our organization,” said Pat Hanley, general manager of Unique Machine. “These certifications are a reflection of our commitment to quality and to continuous improvement in customer service.”

It has been a lengthy process for the company to perform all the necessary work to meet the standards of both quality programs and to implement a quality system designed to measure continuous improvement.

“These accreditations mirror the way we do business,” said Hanley. “Companies doing business with accredited suppliers can be assured of a high level of quality, performance and relationship.”

Unique Machine is located in Anchorage. They provide manufacturing, threading, and overhaul and repair services to every major industry in the State of Alaska. Specific to the oil and gas industry, Unique Machine holds proprietary technology licenses for threading services from most of the major technology companies located in the world, including Japan, France, Indonesia, England and the United States.

Unique Machine is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation of America and Sumitomo Corp of Japan that has been doing business in Alaska for 34 years. Along with another Alaska-based Sumitomo Corporation subsidiary, Tubular Solutions of Alaska, they supply a complete line of products and services to all major operators in the state.

WesternGeco releases new onshore/offshore technologies

Schlumberger announced this spring the release of three new technologies to complement WesternGeco Q-Technology services. The innovative WesternGeco DSC Dynamic Spread Control, the new Desert Explorer DX-80 vibroseis unit and the MD Sweep Maximum Displacement confirm the WesternGeco commitment to ongoing technological enhancement.

For offshore surveys, WesternGeco introduces DSC Dynamic Spread Control, the new automated vessel, source and streamer steering technology.

“Field tested in the Gulf of Mexico, this technique enables unsurpassed repeatability for 4D time-lapse studies and increase accuracy in Q enabled over/under and rich- and wide azimuth surveys,” said Carel Hooykaas, vice president Marine, WesternGeco. “The Q-Marine technology platform, consisting of steerable streamers, single-sensor acquisition, and dense acoustic positioning network and calibrated marine sources, continues to evolve with the addition of the DSC system.”

For onshore operations, WesternGeco introduces the new Desert Explorer and MD Sweep system. The Desert Explorer DX-80 vibroseis unit has been specifically developed to complement the Q-Land integrated acquisition and processing system. This vibroseis unit generates an 80,000 pound peak hydraulic force with low distortion across a broad bandwidth.

The new MD Sweep design methodology enables a vibrator to produce more energetic low frequencies than a traditional sweep design approach.

Historically, lower frequencies in the seismic bandwidth have been overlooked because conventional geophones attenuated them. Field tests demonstrated that the MD Sweep can extend the bandwidth of the vibrator operating at full power by half an octave.

“Seismic data with rich low-frequency content are essential to improve the resolution of deeper targets for structural imaging and successful data inversion to reservoir properties,” said Mark O’Byrne, vice president Land, WesternGeco. “Q-Land digital single sensors now provide a way to record these frequencies.”

The WesternGeco suite of advanced geophysical services includes electromagnetic services and Q-Technology, the world’s only single-sensor high-fidelity seismic acquisition-to-inversion platform. For additional information please visit

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