The new year has brought challenges to all economic sectors in Alaska as the State Legislature, Governor Walker, and natural resource industry members negotiate the most sustainable financial approach for the state and its future. The oil and gas sector remains the largest and most comprehensive revenue-generating player on the employment spectrum.
Part and parcel to the exploration, extraction, and production of oil and gas reserves in the North Slope, Cook Inlet, and in Middle Earth are the hundreds of industry subsidiaries keeping the petroleum flowing and preserving Alaskan's jobs.
If one were to label the companies--which range in size and region as well as task and training--an appropriate moniker in relation to the industry, it would be "backbone."
Udelhoven, a Household Name
Alaska's oil and gas industry permeates across all regions, cities, and communities of the state because of its profound impact on commerce and economies. As new companies form and enter the market, and the mainstream of providers have a five to ten year shelf life, a few iconic companies forge along with decades of steady, successful growth and delivery.
One stalwart at the pinnacle of the field is Udelhoven Operating Companies, offering comprehensive oil and gas industry support services since 1970.
The company launched from the Kenai Peninsula more than forty-seven years ago, offering general contracting and oil production support services through processional managers and experts in construction trades. Led by its founder Jim Udelhoven, the company remains conscientious about local hire and strengthening community economies to spread the benefits from industry revenues.
Udelhoven has three companies, with its Oilfield Service System Services as the primary hands-on subsidiary through which fabrication, construction, and maintenance are performed from Cook Inlet to Prudhoe Bay. Another subsidiary, Udelhoven, Inc., offers professional and technical services from Houston, Texas, offices covering oil and gas industry support of projects involving quality assurance and control, electrical and instrumentation support, start-up and precommissioning consultations, and overall project management.
The company's signature Alaska market remains in the Cook Inlet region and Prudhoe Bay. Jake Arness, project manager for Udelhoven's Kenai Business Unit, recognizes the geographic and economic value generated by the company. "What's important about our presence on the Kenai Peninsula remains local hire and giving back to the community. We're as much community stewards as employers, " he says. Arness walks the walk, serving on the Kenai Chamber of Commerce Board, as well as on the Challenger Learning Center and Kenai Construction Academy Boards, in an effort to encourage recruitment and local employment.
Arness explains Udelhoven's Cook Inlet staff contingent totals seventy-six employees, ranging from roustabouts to instrument technicians and welders to electricians. The company has a fabrication plant located between the Kenai and Nikiski communities, 100-feet-by-120-feet in size, with a large indoor crane that benefits their efforts. He adds that 2017 projects are stacking up.
One project Udelhoven is tasked with this year is supporting Hillcorp Alaska's Granite Point Platform in the Cook Inlet. Installed in 1966, with water ranging from sixty-two to seventy-seven feet deep, Arness oversees the rebuilding of a six-foot diameter crane pedestal on the platform. They started in late February and should be finished in midApril following the fabrication and welding. The Osprey Platform in Cook Inlet off the West Forelands, installed in 2000, is another work...