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Vol. 19, No. 38 Week of September 21, 2014
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: Kakivik leads the pack on safety for its valued customers and employees

Non-destructive testing company surpasses One Million Hours without an OSHA recordable incident

Q. What is the official name of your company?


Q. Is your firm a subsidiary or affiliate of other companies? If so, please name those firms and their relationship to your company.

A. Kakivik is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC).

Q. What do you most want people to know about your company?

A. Kakivik is a full service asset integrity management company specializing in Non-destructive Testing (NDT), External and Internal Corrosion Investigations and Quality Program management. We offer these services for the construction, operation and maintenance of pipelines, storage tanks, pressure vessels, process systems and structural members.

NDT is the process of analyzing materials and systems without causing any damage, through the use of x-rays, ultrasonics, liquid penetrants and other means. In Alaska, NDT plays a particularly important role in the oil and gas industry, where ensuring pipeline integrity is of the utmost importance, both environmentally and economically.

Q. What year was the company founded and by whom?

A. Kakivik was founded in 1999 by BBNC and a couple of investment partners.

Q. What is your company’s primary business activity?

A. Kakivik works with facility owners and operators to design and implement cost efficient, comprehensive industrial infrastructure integrity management programs. Utilizing non-destructive testing and inspection methods and techniques, technicians perform internal and external corrosion inspections, statutory and code compliance inspections, fitness-for-service evaluations, integrity program management and inspection data management.

Q. Are there important projects the company is currently a part of or has done recently?

A. Kakivik has a fifteen year history of providing non-destructive testing and inspection services on Alaska’s North Slope and in the Cook Inlet. The work has primarily been in support of operations and maintenance of oilfield infrastructure, but has also included NDT and inspection of offshore platforms, LNG facilities and inspection of welds on new pipeline construction.

Q. How many employees does your company have?

A. Kakivik currently has approximately two hundred fifty employees serving our valued clients on the North Slope, in the Cook Inlet and in Australia, and supporting our operations from our Anchorage headquarters.

Q. Describe the equipment your company uses and are there any new equipment purchases planned?

A. Kakivik uses testing equipment, customized procedures and industry best practices to conduct the following tests and inspections: API 510 Pressure vessel inspections; API 570 Piping and pipeline inspections; API 653 Storage tank inspections; ATRT – Automated tangential radiography; AUT – Automated ultrasonic inspections; EMAT – Electromagnetic acoustic transducer inspections; IR – Infrared testing; LT – Leak testing; MFE – Magnetic flux exclusion testing; MT – Magnetic particle testing; PT – Liquid penetrant testing; RTR – Real time radiography; UT – Ultrasonic testing; PAUT – Phased array ultrasonic testing; VT – Visual testing; Corrosion Coupon and Probe installations and monitoring; and laboratory and chemical services.

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

A. In the past year Kakivik has deployed crews to work in Australia and in the East Timor Sea performing NDT and our unique corrosion-under-insulation inspections.

Q. Is the company changing any of its services or products?

A. Kakivik continues to invest in application development in the field of non-destructive testing, as well as in workforce development.

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

A. Kakivik’s has two distinct competitive differentiators. One is in the area of identifying Corrosion-under-Insulation, or CUI. These services make it possible to accurately and confidently identify external corrosion on insulated pipe without the costly and time consuming process of removing insulation. These services can be deployed at heights in production facilities and on oil platforms using rope access techniques. The use of rope access further improves cost effectiveness. Secondly, our production rates, reflected in the amount of above-ground pipe we can inspect in a day, utilizing Automated Ultrasonic Testing have earned recognition and awards. As a result, Kakivik has unparalleled superiority when it comes to inspecting above ground pipelines in the Arctic environment and in process facilities in any environment.

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

A. We have expanded outside the Alaska market with our corrosion-under-insulation inspections. Corrosion occurs quietly and insidiously on all infrastructure assets during their entire lifespan. Corrosion has the ability to destroy the integrity of pipelines and piping systems, storage tanks and pressure vessels. Across the entire globe, companies expend tremendous resources as scientists and corrosion engineers study and research new methods for detecting and combatting corrosion.

In the U.S. alone, the cost of corrosion is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually. As one might imagine, when pipelines and piping systems are covered with insulation and metal jacketing it becomes much more difficult to find the most menacing cases of corrosion, those that could result in calamitous failures leading to injuries, environmental degradation and even death.

Kakivik has been attracting attention with expert use of equipment and techniques to identify corrosion that is occurring underneath insulation. The reliability of the screening can save our clients the cost of stripping insulation and jacketing from pipe, pipelines and other industrial components. Most importantly, the screening and testing can identify corrosion that may have the potential for catastrophic losses.

Q. What is the most challenging work/contract the company has undertaken? 

A. In our industry and in the field of non-destructive testing and inspections nationally, there is a chronic shortage of qualified, experienced NDT technicians. The shortages become more acute as investment and activity in oil and gas development and production increases. For this reason, companies like Kakivik must continually invest in workforce development.

It takes years for technicians to gain the work experience necessary to advance their skill levels through the ranks from trainee to Levels I, II and III.

Kakivik is committed to providing all employees a robust program of continuing education; including technical and safety training.

Q. What is your company’s safety record? What steps does the company take to ensure a safe work environment?

A. In April 2014, Kakivik’s employees surpassed one million working hours without an OSHA recordable medical treatment injury. This accomplishment highlights our efforts to take our safety culture to a new level and follows on recent milestones recognized by our key client, ConocoPhillips, for two years of injury-free performance and a 2013 Contractor HSE Excellence Award. These records are possible because safety is Kakivik’s top priority. A lot of companies say that, but at Kakivik we firmly believe that working safely enhances, rather than hinders, productivity and quality, and is the best way to attract the best customers and employees. We have demonstrated that time and again as our efficiency continues to improve while we advance the culture and expectations for working incident free. All the planning and communications required to work safely contributes to doing the job right the first time, minimizes re-work, and decreases exposure to the risks of injury that results from poor planning.

Through our efforts to continually improve, our focus on growing an outstanding safety culture, and through the good choices our leaders and workers make day in and day out, we have accomplished significant safety milestones.

Additionally, our key clients consider our leaders and our teams as valued partners, in full alignment with and critical to their efforts to achieve an incident free work place.

Q. What is the address of your company’s Web site?


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