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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: Merger of H.C. Price, Gregory & Cook forms North America’s largest pipeline construction company

With a heavy equipment stockpile of over 1000 units, Price Gregory International maintains a forward-looking commitment to support increased oil and gas projects

In 2008, H. C. Price Co. completed a merger with Gregory & Cook Construction of Houston, Texas. The new parent company is Price Gregory Services. The merger brings together two of the largest and most respected pipeline-related infrastructure service providers to form the largest pipeline construction company in North America.

Q. Where is Price Gregory located?

A. Price Gregory’s home office is in Houston, Texas. The Alaska Division is located at 301 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 300, in Anchorage, Alaska.

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

A. H. C. Price Co. was founded in 1929 by H. C. “Hal” Price, who also pioneered innovations in electric arc welding for pipelines. Price continued over eight decades to lead the industry in quality construction services. It has performed projects in the Lower 48, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and Mexico.

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

A. The new company CEO is John Jackson; the CFO is Lee Beckelman. Tom White is the chief operating officer. For Alaska, David Matthews is vice-president and Alaska area manager.

Q. What services does the company offer?

A. PGI is a leading provider of infrastructure services with focus on pipeline construction and related services. We continue to provide construction of gas, oil and products pipelines; installation of metering and valve stations; cleaning, repair, DOT hydrostatic testing and maintenance; erection of power generation facilities, pump and compressor stations, and road boring horizontal directional drilling for pipelines.

Q. What is Price Gregory’s primary business sector? Major clients?

A. PGI’s primary business sector is in oil-and-gas related services. Our major Alaska clients include BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc., Eni Petroleum Co., ConocoPhillips, and Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.

Q. How many employees does PGI have?

A. We have over 3,000 employees working in the Lower 48, Canada, and Alaska. The Alaska Division has approximately 500 employees.

Q. Does your company have subsidiaries?

A. PGI’s Canadian Division includes OJ Pipelines. OJ Pipelines specializes in large-diameter cross-country pipeline projects. We also own RMS Welding, which provides automated welding services and equipment. RMS and OJ Pipelines are located in Nisku, Alberta, Canada.

Q. Describe your essential equipment in general terms.

A. PGI’s Alaska fleet of heavy equipment and rolling stock includes over 1000 pieces of equipment. Recent purchases include two Watson drilling rigs, an 80-ton hydraulic crane, four 587T sideboom tractors, and a significant addition of ancillary equipment rounding out our Arctic fleet. PGI maintains a forward-looking commitment to providing services for current and future oil and gas projects.

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

A. We continue to develop our industrial facility construction services. We provide considerable expertise in EPC-type projects in government and private sector markets.

Q. What new markets, clients and/or projects did your company attract in the last year?

A. PGI’s Alaska Division has expanded its operations to include construction of gas compressors, oil pumping, and metering stations in the Lower 48.

Q. Is PGI changing any of its services?

A. The new merger helps us expand capabilities within our primary industry and then into other industries primarily via acquisitions and/or enhanced self-perform initiatives. PGI now has the capability to field over seven spreads of equipment and personnel for large-diameter cross-country pipelines. Said another way, we can construct approximately 1,000 miles of large-diameter cross-country pipe in a season if called upon.

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

A. We believe it is our ability to manage projects that measure up to the project goals. We utilize the most current project management tools, have a dedicated core staff team, and bring to the table excellent relations with clients and our union workforce.

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

A. We have designed and fabricated state-of-the-art welding and coating shelters to support pipeline work during our Alaska winters and are proud of our innovations in Arctic drilling.

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

A. PGI has performed a number of challenging projects, including arctic underwater pipeline installations, multiple cross-country pipeline installations, and the largest electrical generation power plant in Alaska.

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

A. PGI is challenged by its initiatives to maintain safety/environmental excellence as it comports with tight project schedule requirements, permitting restrictions and timelines, and outdoor work in arctic weather.

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

A. A big worry is having a qualified workforce to take on increasing project workloads.

Q. What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from, say, political events or long-term weather fluctuations?

A. We are very encouraged by both the Denali and TC Alaska gas line initiatives in which we can play a key role during planning and construction. We are equally encouraged by other large-diameter pipeline prospects in Alaska over the next decade that are outside Prudhoe Bay.

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

A. Next year, PGI will celebrate its 35th year of continuous service to Alaska, which began with the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

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

A. As a union contractor, PGI employs on a project basis. However, PGI’s core staff and key foremen overall have worked for the company for several decades.

Q. What is your company’s safety record?

A. PGI’s safety record reflects its dedication to continuous improvement. In recent years, PGI has received the Governor’s Safety Award as well as a client’s Designated Contractor of the Year Award for the company’s perfect safety record.

Q. Does your company or its partners or subsidiaries maintain websites?

A. Yes. Come visit us at www.pricegregory.com.



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