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Vol. 17, No. 36 Week of September 02, 2012
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

AK-WA Connection 2012: Making a Difference

By Rose Ragsdale

Alaska-Washington Connection

Welcome to the “The Alaska-Washington Connection – Making a Difference.”

The dynamic relationship between Alaska and Washington born with the advent of the Alaska Gold Rush in 1896 continues to serve the increasingly complex needs of the Last Frontier. More than 116 years later, the economic, social and political ties between these two regions are more critical than ever to their mutual well-being. Public investment in infrastructure and alternative energy projects along with strong oil, gas and mining sectors continue to fuel Alaska’s economy and by extension, the economy of the Pacific Northwest.

2012 marks the fifth consecutive year that Petroleum News has published an annual portrait of the dynamic and enduring business relationship between Alaska and Washington.

This edition features a look at some of the outstanding transportation companies that serve in Alaska-Washington trade. It also showcases companies that not only overcome the major challenges they face in an uncertain economy, but also work to make a difference in the lives of their clients, employees and neighbors. PNW Equipment and American Fast Freight, for example, are Washington-based businesses that strive for excellence in the services they provide to Alaskans, while going out of their way to give back to the Alaska communities where they do business. Udelhoven Oilfield Systems Services Inc. and Opti Staffing are Alaska-based enterprises that have taken their uncommon commitment to providing quality services and expanded their operations to Washington State and beyond.

Reinforcing the connection

This year, telecommunications and mining are driving forces in Alaska’s economy, bringing not only jobs, capital investment and tax revenue to the state but also business and community development initiatives that are being felt even in the remotest corners of the state.

Alaska Communications, AT&T and Futaris are expanding and improving their products and services in sync with the latest advancements in communications technology.

The state’s six producing mines, Red Dog near Kotzebue, Fort Knox near Fairbanks, Pogo near Delta, Greens Creek and Kensington near Juneau and Nixon Fork near McGrath, along with advanced mine projects such as Pebble in Southwest Alaska, Donlin Creek in western Alaska and Livengood in the Interior underscore the growing importance of the mining sector to Alaska. Numerous exploration ventures and mining support companies, including Taiga Ventures, Modular Transportable Housing Inc., Calista Corp., Udelhoven Oilfield Systems Services Inc. and NC Machinery, add to the mix, creating thousands of high-paying jobs and providing much-needed revenue and civic support to local communities across the state.

This activity is also an important lifeline for the Puget Sound and for numerous Alaska and Washington transportation companies such as Lynden Inc., Bowhead Transport Co., Alaska Air Cargo, Alaska Railroad Corp., American Fast Freight, Pacific Alaska Freightways and TransGroup Logistics.

Other Alaska businesses, including Aspen Hotels, Opti Staffing Group, Kenworth Alaska and Seekins Ford in Fairbanks, have unique ties to Washington State that enhance their ability to service the Alaska marketplace.

Most of these companies also provide goods or services to Alaska’s oil and gas, retail, tourism, fishing, and service sectors. Yet perhaps their most effective and unheralded contributions are the many ways in which they give back to their communities.



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