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NMS on the North Slope Delivering Safety and Services

NANA’s Path to Success Vision, Partnerships, Diversification

NANA Oilfield Services

NANA’s Louisiana Purchase

Blend of Strategy and Opportunity

The Workings of GIS

NANA at Point Thomson

NANA Construction

Natural Gas Project Begins

Components of Success

Oil & Gas ISSUE WINTER 2013

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Cover Photo courtesy ExxonMobil


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NANATKUT: The family of NANA

Features 2 NMS on the North Slope Delivering Safety and Services

4 NANA Oilfield Services Strategy and Opportunity

8 NANA’s Path to Success

Vision, Partnerships, Diversification

14 NANA at Point Thomson Natural Gas Project Begins

16 The Imperfect Storm

Suviving on Alaska’s North Slope

18 NANA Construction Components of Success

20 Road to Resources Alaska’s Dalton Highway

22 NANA’s Louisiana Purchase The Workings of GIS

In Every Issue 909 West 9th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99501 P (907) 265-4100 F (907) 265-4123 Email: Web:

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28 NANA News 29 NANA Worldwide

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President’s Message

NANA began working with the oil industry on Alaska’s North Slope in 1975. Thirty-seven years later, we are still going strong. Four NANA companies recently mobilized to support ExxonMobil in development of Pt. Thomson, a multi-billion dollar natural gas project. With our acquisition of GIS Oilfield Services and the founding of NANA Australia in 2012, NANA continues to broaden and deepen our experience in services to the oil and gas industry all over the world. Not only does our NANA family of companies bring world class skills to the oil and gas industry, we also bring our excellent record of safety, our corporate values, and commitment to constant improvement to meet the needs of our clients. While our company expands its business capabilities, we also expand employment opportunities. There are so many interesting jobs in the NANA family of companies, but we need to make those opportunities more visible to our young people – how can you aspire to be what you can’t see? Please share this magazine with your children so they can read about the many career paths that NANA offers – or show them the new NANA YouTube site, where there are videos about the work NANA’s companies do. We appreciate your hard work and effort, and look forward to success for all of our companies, and for you, in 2013.

Helvi K. Sandvik President, NANA Development Corporation

Editor’s Note Oil and Gas is the focus of this issue of NANATKUT. With more than three decades serving the oil and gas industry, NANA’s history is closely aligned with oil production in Alaska. Writer Tim Bradner walks us through the formation and evolution of NANA, from the early days of providing catering services on Alaska’s North Slope, to a company that has expanded to include security, camp management, hotels, engineering, transportation, construction, fuel delivery, maintenance, staffing and more. Today, our oil and gas operations can be found from the North Slope of Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and now Australia. In every location we serve, we bring our NANA values, a culture of safety a the reputation for excellence. Our companies and their services continue to expand and improve. NANA Management Services (NMS) and NANA Oilfield Services (NOSI) were both formed in 1975. NANA Construction and NANA WorleyParsons have practices and procedures that set them apart from their competition. Our newest addition, GIS Oilfield Contractors, a Louisiana-based company, brings 60 years of oilfield service to our NANA family. If you don’t see someone you know in this issue, keep looking. Future NANATKUT stories will highlight our federal government work, engineering and construction, facilities management and logistics, IT and telecommunications, hospitality and our world-class Red Dog Mine. We love hearing your ideas and comments. Contact us at

Robin Kornfield Vice President, Communications & Marketing NANA Development Corporation


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EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Kornfield MANAGING EDITOR Carol Richards

CONTRIBUTORS Frank Baker Tim Bradner Blythe Campbell Charles Fedullo Ted Griggs Lana Johnson Ingrid Klinkhart Tirrell Thomas

DESIGN DIRECTOR Carol Richards DESIGNER Amanda Brannon

PRODUCTION Courtny Brooks Ildiko Geuss

PHOTOGRAPHER Chris Arend unless otherwise noted

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NMS On the North Slope Delivering Safety and Services By Charles Fedullo On Alaska’s North Slope, where much of NANA Management Services’ (NMS) Camp Services work takes place, the summer sun doesn’t set and the mosquitoes are thicker than honey. In winter, the sun goes into hiding and temperatures can drop to numbers thermometers do not register. Alaska’s North Slope is home to the majority of the State’s oilfields. Most of the oilfield employees fly to their job sites, work a week or two for 12 hours a day with no days off, then they head home for the next seven to 14 days. While it may be unique to some, to NMS’ North Slope employees, it is just another “day” at the office, and they’ve been doing it for more than three decades. Since its inception during the height of the Trans Alaska Pipeline construction in the 1970s, NMS, which was first known as NANA Commercial Catering, has been providing services to our oil and gas partners on the Slope. What originated as a food services contract has evolved into more opportunities, and NMS has expanded its portfolio to include security services, camp management, hotel management, facilities management, maintenance, housekeeping, water technologies and contract staffing. NMS experienced steady growth over 35 years in response to client needs, by providing quality solutions and personnel along with a culture of safety and integrity.

Innovation is part of the success, as well. NMS Director of Operations, Dave Grinde, has been with NMS for close to 35 years, and has been working in support of resource development in Alaska since serving in Africa in the Peace Corps in the mid 1970s. He uses that experience to help guide NMS management practices. “We have intentionally shifted our focus toward creating workplace conditions where employees feel valued, cared for and respected. This effort involves specific, intentional, leadership behaviors, especially at the level of the first line supervisor.”

People-based Safety On the Slope, safety has to be priority one, so NMS uses an academic safety system developed by Virginia Tech professor E. Scott Geller. This system, known as “people based safety,” involves strengthening self-esteem, self-efficacy, personal control, optimism and belongingness in employees. Grinde describes it like this, “We must always remind ourselves that these ’person states‘ are the primary drivers of individual performance and that keeps us anchored in our belief that treating people right is the foundation of our performance strategy.” He said the method works, especially with a need to perform perfectly around safety. “We need to be ever vigilant but we


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With more than 35 years of experience

in providing security services to some of the world’s most technologically-advanced companies, NMS continuously improves to meet constantly changing demands. NMS Security workers Brendon Goulet and John Kelly are responsible for dispatch operations and access control to sites on the North Slope. BELOW:

NMS is a known leader with high

safety standards, which have been nationally recognized by the industry and clients. NMS maintenance worker Burton Whitaker conducts a routine system check at the BP campsite. OPPOSITE :

NMS is proud to serve not only oil & gas clients for more than

35 years, but an increasingly diverse clientele including federal, state and local governments, corporate facilities, health care institutions, schools and universities, manufacturing centers and the telecommunications industry.

find using people based safety, if we treat people right, work hard on relationships, and use NANA’s core values, fulfilling commitments and treating people with dignity and respect, the rest falls into place.”

Appreciating Simple Things Life and work on the Slope is not easy. Eric Fox, NMS’ vice president of operations for Camp Services, understands because he lived it for 15 years. While on the Slope, after a long, hard day of work, he appreciated simple things — like a good meal and a clean room. Today, Fox manages more than 600 employees who provide services to more than three times that number. He recognizes that not everyone is cut out for this kind of job. “You have to have the right fit,” he said. “We need people who want empowerment, are flexible, and who care about others. Passionate — you have to be passionate about what you do to grow with NMS.” For every job on the Slope, there are two workers. These two employees work in tandem so the client only sees a different face — not a different product. The goal is what Fox calls a “standard of excellence.” Hiring the right people and providing the right motivation pays off.

Two-week Rotation There is something unique about this kind of work for the culture of NANA’s shareholders. The two-weeks-on-two-weeksoff rotation allows more than a quarter of NMS Camp Services employees to maintain a subsistence lifestyle, which involves picking berries, harvesting fish, and hunting caribou or moose. The effort to make the Slope a home away from home goes a long way. “It’s not just about putting food out,” said NMS president Mary Quin.“ Our people make a real effort during

holidays and other special occasions to create a fun, friendly and festive environment — after all, the workers are far from home and whether it is Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas we do a little extra with decorations or special treats, like gingerbread houses.”

A Safe Workplace This approach is what NMS vice president of marketing communications Penny Cotten refers to as “Making excellence routine to our customers by being a silent backdrop, providing great food, hospitality and maintenance for a safe workplace.” The hard work translates to results. NMS has more than five million man-hours without a lost time incident. BP’s safety manager for the North Slope, John Buford, calls Fox’s team “the hardest working people on the North Slope.” Fox said, “I am blown away by the work they do. By the end of their 12-hour shift, our folks do more than many folks in the same industry will do in a week.” He continues, “To be honest, the best thing about my job is watching people flourish. Seeing members of my group get a promotion, buy a house or just seeing them grow as people…that makes it worth coming to work in the morning.” z

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NANA Oilfield Services Inc.: A Successful Blend of Strategy and Opportunity By Ingrid Klinkhart

As NANA refocused on building its presence in the oil industry, it seemed wise to seek opportunities close at hand, as well as internationally. As it turned out, opportunities within opportunities presented themselves to NANA Oilfield Services.

its customers: a 1.2 million gallon fuel oil storage tank farm near the Deadhorse Airport. The farm fulfills the customers’ needs, regardless of weather or disruptions in service due to the transportation of the fuel.

The federal government changed specific fuel regulations a few years ago, requiring the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) for trucks, buses, construction and service equipment on the North Slope. This change in regulations caused the shutdown of the topping plant that had been locally producing diesel for use on the Slope. The new ULSD fuel had to be trucked up the Haul Road, creating the potential for costly delays.

The facility consists of six 200,000-gallon tanks, and operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year. Historically, NOSI provided services for smaller-scale projects, but having the excess storage capacity of the farm has enhanced the company’s capabilities and, therefore, its customer base. NOSI’s clients now include ExxonMobil at Point Thomson, as well as ENI Petroleum and Pioneer Natural Resources — companies with significant exploration and development projects.

Tank Farm During the winter of 2010, the 414-mile gravel road was closed for a number of days due to severe weather. For NOSI, that closure provided an opportunity to add a new service for

In the fall of 2012, NOSI’s 1.2 million gallon fuel oil tank farm was built on the North Slope by NANA Construction. The tank farm allows NOSI to meet customer needs 24/7, year-round, despite weather or fuel transportation disruptions.


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North Slope clients have relied on NOSI for more than 35 years. NOSI’s new Operations Center was built by NANA Construction with

multi-functional spaces for safety trainings and store products like jet A and B aviation fuel, diesel, heating fuels and gasoline.

“We don’t ever want to hold up our clients’ operations because of a delay in fuel delivery,” said Brad Osborne, NOSI president. “This tank farm is a safety net, an insurance policy if you will, that NOSI will provide continuous service.” “At the end of the day, it’s about numbers and matching it to strategy,” said Osborne. “How do we get to where we want to go efficiently, but also have long-term results? We’re always looking at opportunities for growth.” In addition to supplying fuel oil, NOSI distributes Chevron lubricants, A and B aviation fuel, diesel fuel, and gasoline on the North Slope, and at the Red Dog Mine located in northwest Alaska. It also distributes drilling fuel and potable water to camps all over the Slope. Until last year, those products and delivery vehicles had to be stored outside, but with temperatures dipping to -50° F, trucks had to be kept at idle, 24 hours a day, and keeping track of inventory was difficult. At that time, Osborne’s role was as an investment analyst for NOSI’s parent company, NANA Development. The NOSI management team communicated that while they needed to track a monthly inventory, it was difficult with the products being kept outside.

In 2010, NANA Construction, another NDC company, built a six-bay operations center in which to store the products and delivery vehicles. The new building also has a multi-purpose meeting room that provides safety training space for North Slope employees. In addition, NOSI updated its inventory tracking system which has improved the entire process — from placing orders to generating invoices to giving customers a more accurate delivery time. These upgrades and expanded services have made NOSI more efficient. But it’s the more than 40 dedicated employees, many of them NANA shareholders, who are what make and keep the company successful. North Slope working conditions are unique and, at times, very difficult. The weather contributes to the challenges, and the two-week rotations can be a strain on family and social lives. To address the unique issues, NOSI has expanded its Laborer Training Program, hiring more workers prior to the upcoming busy season, allowing workers to learn the ins and outs of the North Slope: driving conditions, additional safety rules regarding the tank farm, and adjusting to the rotation schedule.


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“I’ve always wanted to work for NANA, and NOSI feels like being part of a family,” said Michael Moose, NOSI truck driver and NANA shareholder.

Before becoming NOSI president a year ago, Brad Osborne was a NANA Development Corporation (NDC) accountant and, more recently, an investment analyst who led the due diligence process for the purchase of three NDC companies.

Positive, Productive Michael Moose is one of those new employees. The 21-year-old NANA shareholder, who grew up in Anchorage and whose mother is from Kiana, came prepared with his Class A commercial driver’s license when he applied at NOSI earlier this year. He has spent several months in the training program, delivering small fuel loads, and he hopes to eventually drive large rigs up and down the Haul Road. “I’ve always wanted to work for NANA, and NOSI feels like being part of a family,” said Moose. “Still, some here have a tough time adjusting to the two-week-on, two-week-off schedule, but I don’t have a family of my own, so I love having the time off to travel outside of Alaska. In fact, I’m getting ready to go to Las Vegas, and I don’t even have to take vacation time,” said Moose.

Snyder and her husband, Clarence, a 26-year NDC employee, are affectionately called “Mr. and Mrs. NANA” by Osborne. “I always feel so appreciated by Brad,” said Snyder. “He does have high expectations of his staff, but he’s always positive and the results speak for themselves.”

Moving Forward And when it comes to having an eye for opportunity, Osborne’s vision for NOSI goes beyond Alaska. “Our job is to continuously move NOSI forward, whether with more projects or better customer service. There’s always room for improvement, and when you think you’re there, that’s when you slow down,” said Osborne. z

Employees like Moose, who have a positive attitude, are greatly appreciated. Osborne, who has a reputation for being a great man to work for, believes that when you have happy employees, your overall productivity is better. Just ask his assistant, Angela Snyder, who has worked for NDC for 14 years. 7

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Vision, Partnerships and Diversification Drive NANA’s Path to Success By Tim Bradner From humble beginnings 40 years ago, NANA has emerged as one of Alaska’s major oil service contractors, and plays a major role in industry services in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as well. NANA’s growth and development has attracted international attention. The corporation is now exploring opportunities in Australia, where petroleum and mining companies look to involve the country’s indigenous people in their businesses. NANA’s experience as a corporation owned by Alaska Natives, coupled with its track record of training and employing its Iñupiat shareholders in good-paying skilled and professional jobs, makes the company an ideal resource and partner for other oil and gas companies. The path to success was not easy, however, and there was no guarantee that NANA would succeed. 8

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Charlie Curtis

stands before a congregation of shareholders; seated at the table are Christina Westlake, Richard Baenon and Levi Cleveland. OPPOSITE (BOTTOM):

Robert Newlin

and John Schaeffer.

When NANA was first formed our shareholders, who had little business experience, had to adapt a new way of thinking; they now had to run a corporation. They had to learn how to elect leadership, run board meetings, make business decisions and vote. Traditional values of cooperation, honesty and integrity and treating everyone with respect have guided NANA from the beginning.

1960s -1970s Oil is Discovered, but Who Owns the Land? The late 1960s and 1970s were eventful times in Alaska. Oil was discovered on the North Slope in 1969 and major companies planned an 800-mile large-diameter pipeline— which would become the Trans Alaska Pipeline System—running from the North Slope to a port at Valdez in Southcentral Alaska. The pipeline route crossed lands claimed by Alaska Natives in Northern, Interior and Southcentral Alaska and the federal government had imposed a freeze on Alaska land transfers, including a pipeline corridor, until the issue of who owned the land was settled.

NANA’s early leaders helped forge an alliance with the petroleum industry that resolved the land claims and helped secure congressional approval for the pipeline.

Alliance Formed NANA’s lands were in northwest Alaska, not on the North Slope or along the pipeline route. However, NANA’s early leaders helped forge an alliance with the petroleum industry that resolved the land claims and helped secure congressional approval for the pipeline. The Congressional passing of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971 and the Trans Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act in 1973 transformed Alaska. NANA Regional Corporation was one of 12 Alaska Native regional corporations formed in 1972 that, collectively, received 45 million acres and $962 million in the land claims settlement.


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We’re in Business, Now What? The new Alaska Native corporations had land and some cash, but little experience in business, and Alaska Natives, living in rural Alaska where jobs were scarce, were still low income and largely unskilled. NANA’s initial efforts to provide employment for its people revolved around investing in the region. One local business included a hotel in Kotzebue, which was replaced in 2012; another was in reindeer herding, a venture since dropped.

Job Creation NANA was blessed with good leaders who devised an early strategy to develop business relationships with the emerging Alaska oil industry, which by the 1970s had become Alaska’s major economic engine. “Following passage of ANCSA, our leaders felt we needed to establish businesses in the region to create jobs, but the business opportunity was really on the North Slope,” said Helvi Sandvik, NANA Development Corporation president.

Businesses Serve Oil Industry John Rense, a long-time NANA vice president, said going after work on the Slope was a shrewd move. NANA took advantage of its good relations with the oil industry that stemmed from the alliance formed in the settling of land claims and securing approval for the pipeline. At the time, the industry was keen

on doing business with Native corporations in order to mend fences after the early disagreements on the pipeline land corridor. “The oil fields could provide jobs. It was an opportunity, and NANA was able to get out in front and seize the opportunity,” Rense said. NANA’s success in developing early commercial relations with the oil companies set a model that also helped other Alaska Native corporations establish their own business relationships.

NANA was blessed with good leaders who devised an early strategy to develop business relationships with the emerging Alaska oil industry.


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NANA Partners Up NANA’s presence on the North Slope began in 1975, through a joint-venture food service contract with BP — a major North Slope oil producer. This contract became the springboard for many of NANA’s subsequent ventures and, interestingly enough, it is still in effect almost four decades later, although NANA’s partners have changed through acquisitions. NANA’s partnership was originally with Marriott; now it is with Sodexo, one of the world’s largest facility management firms. NANA Management Services, or NMS, services the contract. NDC owns 51 percent; Sodexo owns 49 percent. The contract transformed from only providing food services to include security services, facilities management, and staffing services—and it set a model for NANA. “It allowed us to start in the business, learn skills and move to higherpaying work,” Sandvik said.

small part of the field. It was built on artificial gravel islands in shallow water, and it required moving huge oil process modules to the site over gravel roads and a causeway to the production islands. Endicott was a two-year project that involved the full range of surface facilities for the field. It was also the first time that a construction contractor managed the movement of the heavy oil process modules to the site. Today, NANA owns a small percentage of the Endicott field, which illustrates the level of trust that was established with the major oil producers.

Capabilities Expand

The NANA/VECO joint venture tackled several other major Prudhoe Bay field projects, such as construction of the Lisburne production center. NANA, VECO and other partners also teamed up to form a drilling company, Alaska United Drilling, building two large, specialized rigs.

Meanwhile, NANA developed industry support capabilities in other directions. An industrial camp was purchased at Deadhorse, the main contractor support center on the North Slope. NANA purchased a fuel supply business, which still operates as NANA Oilfield Services, and a small electric utility that has since been sold. A breakthrough for the corporation came when VECO Alaska, a major oilfield support company, approached NANA to partner on oil-related construction. VECO was looking for an alliance with an Alaska Native corporation. “This was an important move,” Sandvik said. “Food service and catering supplied jobs for our shareholders, but it was lowmargin, low-wage work. Doing oilfield construction moved us into higher-paying work.”

Oilfield Construction One early joint project with VECO was construction of the Endicott oilfield, the first offshore field on the Slope. In 1979, BP approached NANA to put in joint bids for offshore leases in a state lease sale. NANA put together a small consortium of several Native corporations to join in the bid. The group won the leases, exploration was successful, and NANA still owns a

Some of NANA’s earliest job opportunities for shareholders

“Twenty-three percent of the workers on the project were shareholders,” recalled Pete Leathard, VECO’s former president. NANA’s Rense remembers that some of NANA’s current board members worked on that project and received their early, first-hand experiences with oilfield construction.

The venture wasn’t as important for profits as it was a symbol of a long-term strategic partnership. “We had a seat at the table when decisions were made. It helped us learn more about how these companies, who are our major customers, do their work,” Sandvik said.

“What has made the difference for NANA was the ability to see ahead of the competition, to develop a basic strategy, and then stay the course for 40 years.” —John Rense, NDC Engineering, Construction & Real Estate sector leader

were on the North Slope. These were hard, physical jobs as roustabouts, or laborers for the oil companies. Subsistence life requires physical conditioning and dexterity. The rotation schedule, working in shifts on and off the Slope, allowed, and still allows today, shareholders to earn a paycheck working remotely while maintaining a subsistence lifestyle of hunting and gathering to provide for their families.


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Like other Alaska Native corporations, NANA expanded into federal government contracting, taking advantage of provisions granting minority-owned businesses preference in bidding for certain types of work.

1980s -1990s

NANA Construction built the Bank of Alaska’s Sand Lake branch location in Anchorage.

NANA Moves into Engineering

NANA Works With Its Partners to Diversify

NANA’s evolution to higher-level work expanded to engineering. NANA purchased 51 percent of DOWL Engineers, a veteran Alaska civil engineering firm, and also acquired Arctic Slope Consulting Group (now named WHPacific), another longestablished Alaska civil engineering firm.

It was an abrupt wake-up call, steering NANA to develop a diversification strategy that has worked well. Rather than immediately launching into new types of businesses, NANA worked with its partners to diversify within the existing lines of business. For example, the catering and facility partnership with Marriott grew into a series of jointly-owned hotels in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The NANA-Marriott hotels are now well-known features of the business landscape in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

NANA moved into oilfield engineering through a 1995 joint venture with Colt Engineering, a Calgary-based firm. This further diversified NANA’s business base, allowing access to industry work in Alberta through Colt. When WorleyParsons, an international engineering firm, purchased Colt in 2005, NANA had a new partner with a worldwide reach.

“This strategy helped us diversify our business base and build added capacity,” Sandvik said.

Then Came a Rough Patch

Minority-owned Business

With Alaska’s boom-bust economy, business was precarious. When oil prices fell in the mid-1980s, and again in the late 90s, and when zinc prices tumbled and froze right after opening the Red Dog Mine, NANA once again adapted.

Like other Alaska Native corporations, NANA expanded into federal government contracting, taking advantage of provisions granting minority-owned businesses preference in bidding for certain types of work. This allowed NANA to gain experience in a very different business sector, with a new customer base and new geographies. The preferences are only temporary, so the businesses are managed with the expectation to be fully competitive in the marketplace.

“When our customer hurts, we hurt, too,” said Sandvik. “We realized we were vulnerable. Eighty percent of our work was coming from oil.”


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2000s NANA Refocuses on Building Oil Service Businesses With a larger and more diversified base, NANA refocused on building its presence in the oil service industry. It formed NANA Construction Company, which builds camps and fabricates a wide variety of production facilities at its plant in the MatanuskaSusitna Borough, north of Anchorage. The strategic location of the facility allows for shorter travel distances when moving completed modules by truck to the North Slope. The initial focus was on production facilities, but the company later expanded to also build housing camps. In mid-2012, NANA Construction completed its first camp for an oil service company on the Slope, and is working on additional modules for the camp.

NANA has further positioned itself for the future through the purchase of GIS, a major oil platform maintenance and support operator in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. GIS has more than 60 years of experience, and operates seven fabrication facilities, supplying about 60 percent of the U.S. Gulf offshore service work to about 3,000 platforms, including the bulk of the deepwater platforms in the Gulf. “The GIS acquisition followed a two-part strategy,” Sandvik said. First was geographic diversification. Secondly, it was a move to a new type of customer — services to offshore platforms and support for shale oil development — an emerging business for GIS. NANA is thinking ahead to the emergence of an offshore producing industry in Alaska’s Arctic, where Shell and other companies are drilling exploration wells in what could become a major producing region. “GIS gives NANA a new core competency in servicing offshore platforms,” Sandvik said.

NANA Builds off Its Knowledge “NANA’s strategy has been consistent,” Sandvik said. “We build off our knowledge. When Prudhoe Bay was first developed in the 1970s, we were a traditional people, and our skills were modest. We learned skills and then moved to higher-paying jobs. It was similar in business.” Rense believes all of this illustrates the value of strategic thinking. “What has made the difference for NANA was the ability to see ahead of the competition, to develop a basic strategy, and then stay the course for 40 years,” he said.

Today, NANA has 45 companies providing important support services at projects in all 50 states, in seven countries and on four continents. Shareholders, like Sophie Mercure, who works for NANA Construction, and the other 11,500 NANA employees are positively

Thanks to that vision, NANA, its shareholders and its partners have not only survived, they’ve thrived in one of the most challenging and resource-rich climates on earth. And they’re taking that knowledge and partnership approach from the North Slope to the Gulf of Mexico to Australia. z TIM BRADNER IS A NATURAL RESOURCES WRITER FOR THE ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE.

impacting the communities in which they live.


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NANA Mobilizes Point Thomson Natural Gas Project By Lana Johnson At the northernmost point of North America, along the Beaufort Sea, ExxonMobil is developing one of the most complex and challenging oil and gas fields in the world, and NANA WorleyParsons is a member of the project team. Point Thomson, a 93,000acre field situated between Deadhorse and the village of Kaktovik, is estimated to hold as much as eight trillion cubic feet of natural gas—about 25 percent of the proven gas reserves of Alaska’s North Slope—along with hundreds of millions of barrels of oil.

Gas Injection Point Thomson is the site of the world’s highest-pressure gas injection project. Gas injection, sometimes known as cycling, is a process of producing natural gas, stripping out the condensate liquids, re-pressuring the gas and then re-injecting it into the reservoir. This project is very unique—the process

has never been performed in such an extreme environment, with exterior temperatures as low as 60+ degrees below zero, and pressures as high as over 10,000 pounds per square inch.

Multi-discipline Engineering NANA WorleyParsons (NWP), part of the Point Thomson team, is a project delivery company that was formed through a 50/50 partnership between NANA Development Corporation and Colt, which was later purchased by Australia-based WorleyParsons. NWP is focused on multi-discipline engineering, design, procurement and construction management services for the oil and gas, power and mining industries. For the $1.3 billion Point Thomson project, WorleyParsons formed a joint venture with Fluor Corporation, a company with extensive large project experience on the North Slope. Through the joint venture, NWP will

provide engineering, procurement and construction services—managing three subcontractors and engineering the modules for the west pad drill site and the air traffic safety building (ATSB). NWP will also be “force multiplying” with other NANA companies: NANA Construction will build the ATSB modules, and NANA Management Services (NMS) and NANA Oilfield Services (NOSI) will support the project with their respective expertise. NWP also provides design, drafting and documentation services for both BP and ConocoPhillips, along with field engineering work. Additionally the

NANA Companies are “Force Multiplying” at Point Thomson In addition to NANA WorleyParsons, several other NANA companies are working to support the Point Thomson Project. NANA Oilfield Services (NOSI) will provide tank farm management and supply Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel and unleaded fuel, urea, and methanol.

NANA/Lynden will be a subcontractor for NOSI.

NANA Construction is


building the Air Transportation Safety Building (ATSB) for the airstrip at Point Thomson. They are also working as a

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subcontractor to another firm to build three modules and four platforms to house the electrical equipment that support the airstrip lighting. NANA Construction will also construct a blast-resistant office module. Other NANA Construction projects associated with the Point Thomson field are a 39seat office complex for Alaska Frontier Constructors, and an 80-bed construction camp for

Doyon that NANA Construction will install at Badami.

NANA Management Services (NMS) provides all security for the Point Thomson pad, the staging area in Deadhorse, airport screening in Deadhorse, the security checkpoints on the ice road, and bear hazing, and has security supervisors embedded in the Exxon

organization. In total this work involves about 45 NMS Security employees. There are 14 NMS Staffing employees assigned to temporary positions with Exxon on the Point Thomson project. NMS also has hotel accommodation agreements with Exxon, providing for a total of about 260 rooms across four different NANA-owned hotels.

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Veteran Engineer Rock Hengen Leads NANA WorleyParsons Leading the NANA WorleyParsons team is an affable Canadian who loves field work so much that he’s away from home as much as 70 percent of the time. “I’ve always enjoyed going to where the projects are being built,” Rock Hengen said.

company is involved in a process hazard analysis on relief valves. “We have a consistent focus on commitment to quality performance,” said Rock Hengen, president of NANA WorleyParsons.

outdoors, so a small gas escapement just disappears into the atmosphere; on the Slope, a gas escapement remains in the internal environment, posing a health and safety risk to workers.

Fire & Gas

Incident-free Safety Record

One of NWP’s specialty niches is its fire and gas group. This group prevents fires and detects any explosive substances. It’s a matter of life and death on the North Slope because everything is enclosed to protect workers and equipment from the extreme cold, which can dip to -68° F in winter. Most oil and gas facilities around the world are

NWP’s safety record is outstanding, having accomplished a five-year, two-million hour, incident-free record with BP; and it’s about to celebrate a four-year, incident-free milestone with ConocoPhillips. “We bring NANA’s core values to work every day and they’re what make us so different,” Hengen said.


NANA WorleyParsons’ experience working in remote site locations is an asset to a project like the development of Point Thomson on Alaska’s North Slope. Extensive technical expertise in Arctic and sub-Arctic engineering for remote locations, combined with excellent project management, is at the core of NANA WorleyParsons, a project delivery company focused on multi-discipline engineering and design, procurement and construction management services.

Hengen, as manager of projects, moved to Alaska in April of 2009 to help the company restructure after the industry experienced major downsizing. As he politely puts it, it was a period of challenge, but the company now has a solid foundation of safety, quality and project performance. A year ago, he was asked to make “a longer-term commitment,” at which time he became vice president and general manager. He assumed the presidency in July of 2012. “Rock is the perfect name for him,” said Helvi Sandvik, NDC’s President. “He has solid credentials and brings a significant and distinguished background of leadership roles, in projects large and small, in the oil and gas industry.” Hengen’s career began as a lead technician for Dome Petroleum in southeast Saskatchewan, Canada. But his path changed course when, after one particularly cold day (temperatures dropped to minus 50° F with 55 mph winds), Hengen decided he would “rather not have to work in that environment again.” He headed for warmer temperatures in a classroom setting, earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. It is interesting to note that in 1994, as the senior instrument engineer during the startup of BP’s Badami production project, Hengen got his first experience on Alaska’s North Slope; Badami is Point Thomson’s closest neighbor, and the two fields will be connected by a 30-mile ice road. 15

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The Imperfect Storm: Despite gale-force winds, no injuries reported as operations continued By Frank E. Baker


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In mid- January, gale-force winds swept across Alaska’s North Slope, creating 16-foothigh snow drifts and reducing visibility to zero at times. Despite the extreme weather, BP Alaska crews with Roads and Pads and security worked around the clock to ensure worker safety. In what North Slope veterans called “the storm of the decade,” winddriven snow piled high against buildings, trucks, well houses and anything else in its path in mid-January. Bryan Collver, manager of Land Fleet, Roads and Pads for BP Exploration Alaska, said that during the worst days of the week-long siege, more than 30 people were out clearing snow using virtually every piece of equipment available. At times, visibility was reduced to zero as crews fought to keep the main Slope artery – the Spine road – open, as well as access roads to gathering centers, flow stations, living facilities and other field facilities. “Despite Phase 3 conditions for about a week, we kept operations going and there were no

his alternate is Mike Jordan—said about 75 security officers were providing transportation and conducting patrols and pipeline observations. “They drove the buses behind front-end loaders which would remove snow along the way,” said Hibpshman. “Traveling at about five-miles per hour and with mounds of snow to clear, some of the crew changes took several hours.” From a meteorologist’s viewpoint it was an epic event, perhaps what one would categorize as a “perfect storm,” as winds were drawn from a very high-pressure cell in the Arctic to meet an extremely low-pressure cell to the southwest in the Bering Sea, off Alaska’s western coast. “For two days straight the area received sustained winds of 60 miles per hour,” noted Ed Bracken, a BP meteorologist based in Houston. “That’s an epic event in anyone’s book.”

Winter Travel Safety Tips for Alaska’s North Slope During winter (Oct. 1 through May 1) at a minimum, each person must have a warm, heavy coat or jacket with a hood or hat that covers the ears, warm gloves and warm substantial footgear. Additional items: wool or insulated pants, chemical warmers and flashlight. Remain hydrated and keep nourished with snacks or

“Purcell Security did a phenomenal job in moving workers around to work sites and making sure they were safe.“

energy bars. Perform radio check prior to departure. Have some form of two-way communication when driving in the field. Cell phone service coverage

injuries,” he said. “The Incident Management Team (IMT) fully supported our efforts and kept the oil fields running, while Purcell Security did a phenomenal job in moving workers around to work sites and making sure they were safe.” Collver said some Shared Services flights from Anchorage were delayed or cancelled because of the weather, but that it wasn’t necessarily the availability of flights that was the problem. “Because of snow drifting on the roads, it was very difficult for the buses to get to the Deadhorse airport,” he noted. In accordance with company policy, drilling operations were shut down during the Phase 3 conditions. Purcell Security (NMS Security’s Alaska operations) Captain Jim Hibpshman—

But for those on the ground – from Endicott in the east to Milne Point in the west – the storm was far from perfect, as field locations were difficult if not impossible to reach.

is limited and should not be

“I have been on the Slope for 26 years and I haven’t seen this much snow stacked up,” commented Dave Huffman, a member of the Roads and Pads crew.

still recommended.

“During the blow, I was escorting buses to the airport and visibility was down to two reflectors, sometimes five, depending upon where you were.” “With the number of people we have on the Slope and all of the facilities we operate, a storm of this magnitude could have been disastrous,” said Collver. “But with good planning, coordination and teamwork, we came through it really well.” z

a reliable two-way communication. While phone service has been improved, radio is

Know how to operate the radio and have access to a list of emergency numbers for contact. Protect each other. If you see a disabled vehicle, don’t assume it’s been called in. Take a moment to check on the vehicle and its occupants, if any.


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Components of Success: NANA Construction Delivers By Charles Fedullo

Alaska’s North Slope is one of the coldest, cloudiest, windiest places on earth. Winds often gust up to 60 mph for days on end, and temperatures range from a high of 75 degrees Fahrenheit in summer to -53 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. And the weather can change in a minute. A place this dramatic requires high-tech, innovative and flexible shelter for approximately 3,000 employees who live or commute there year round.

Modules for Arctic Environment NANA Construction, one of Alaska’s major oil and gas industry contractors, NANA conceived and delivered an intelligent solution to keep workers safe and costs down. Meet NANA Construction: the first company to build a shop that is specifically designed to construct modules for this extreme Arctic environment, and a way to deliver them safely, as well. “This is the only place in Alaska that has been purpose-built for this type of industry, and one of the few that builds for extreme conditions in the North America,” said R.F. “Mac” McKee, NANA Construction’s President. The NANA Construction campus is located in Big Lake, Alaska, which is a 60-mile drive north from Anchorage. The facility consists of a 20-acre spread with several impressive buildings. There is a two-story office for administration, locker rooms and break facilities for the

construction crews. Building the modules takes place in two state-of-the-art buildings in the likes of which mechanics, engineers, fabricators and construction workers dream of working. The industrial or process module assembly building is the size of an airplane hangar with two 10-ton cranes; this is where modules are pre-fabricated and assembled before being craned or jacked, with industry specific equipment, onto trucks ready to head north. Building these special, Slope-ready module units is far more complex than building a mobile home. Engineers and designers must address issues such as temperature swings from 100 to 150 degrees and winds that can gust up to 80 miles per hour. “It can get to be 70 below zero with wind chill. With today’s technologies and code requirements, it requires more extensive engineering and processes to build a structure that will protect everything inside from the elements and have the quality to last for 30 years.” McKee said. The implementation of particular techniques and equipment became necessary in order to stay competitive, and special processes for every facet


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of steel and pipe fabrication had to be put in place to meet the strict requirements of Alaska’s oil and gas industry. Specialized materials have to be procured for these NANA construction modules, and building them requires state-of-the-art facilities.

A Culture of Safety In addition to developing a highly efficient workflow and producing a quality product for the Slope, NANA Construction focuses on safety. Anita Archuleta, Vice President HSSE, says, “We are working to be the safest company in Alaska and have started several new initiatives that recognize hazards and assess safety on every project to meet that goal. In addition, our foremen and supervisors take a leadership role in promoting NANA Construction’s safety culture.”

Strategically Located The core group at NANA Construction is around 70 people, but when major orders are received, the staff can balloon to about 200 personnel. It takes about three days to build a simple office module, about a week to build a bunkhouse, and 10 to 12 days to construct a kitchen module.

Doing it Right “Most other similar facilities are in Anchorage, and were built to do something else and then converted for use on the Slope,” says McKee. “Not only are NANA Construction’s facilities built specifically to do one type of work, the facility is closer to where most of our modules go.” While the 60-mile drive to Big Lake may not seem like much of an expensive drive to a tourist or a commuter, when you are hauling cargo the size of a small house, that weighs 100 tons, it can cost up to $75,000 dollars a day to get it where it needs to go. The math is simple; having the NANA Construction facility in Big Lake can save clients more than $150,000 in delivery costs alone. By providing clients with high quality products and costeffective delivery, NANA Construction is a key partner for the oil and gas and mining industries. A commitment to safety is reflected in the hiring of highly skilled, industrial construction personnel who work in the safest work environment possible. Communication with clients throughout the life cycle of a project demonstrates a dedication to service. NANA Construction builds more than just partnerships; it is building the future of Alaska. z

NANA Construction President Mac McKee R.F. (Mac) McKee has more than 44 years of experience in all phases of construction management. He spent a decade learning the construction business in the field working with small construction companies throughout his home state of Ohio before joining Fluor Constructors in the late 1960s. In the late 1970s, McKee served as the Superintendent of Construction Services for the Wilmington, California Refinery Expansion Project, which totalled $140 million and involved more than two million direct field man-hours. Immediately following this project, McKee served as the Superintendent of Field Construction for Fluor Alaska, successfully supervising the construction of Pump Station No. 7 of the Alyeska Pipeline in Central Alaska. In 1975, he directed construction of the Powerhouse/Vapor Recovery System at the Valdez Terminal of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in Valdez, Alaska; completing the complex installation ahead of schedule and under budget. McKee joined ARCO (Atlantic Richfield) Alaska in 1980 and spent five years working as the Lead Construction Engineer responsible for the execution of field construction at the Prudhoe Bay field on Alaska’s North Slope. Notable projects from this time include installation of Low-Pressure Separation Modules at Flow Stations 1, 2, and 3; Gas Handling Expansion Project; and Seawater Treatment Plant. In 1986, McKee went to work for VECO Corporation, an Alaskan based company, as a Manager of Construction. During that time, McKee served as General Manager of oil spill cleanup for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill; he was the liaison for all governmental agencies and managed more than 10,000 employees. In 1990, he became President of VECO Construction with management responsibility for all VECO construction projects worldwide; including Canada, South America, the Middle East and Russia. McKee joined NANA in 2008, when he was asked to help establish a new company from scratch. Under McKee’s guidance NANA Construction is now delivering quality facilities and modules to the oil and mining industries in Alaska.


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Road to Resources: Alaska’s Dalton Highway By Blythe Campbell The Dalton Highway is an industrial road that begins just north of Fairbanks and ends at Prudhoe Bay —400 miles across the Continental Divide, the Arctic Circle and nearly to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The road was constructed in just five months in 1975 to support the construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline and the Prudhoe Bay oilfield, and was closed to the public for many years. After much debate, the entire length of the Dalton Highway was opened to the public in 1994.

The Bureau of Land Management describes the highway like this: “The road is narrow, has soft shoulders, high embankments, and steep hills. There are lengthy stretches of gravel surface with sharp rocks, potholes, washboard, and, depending on the weather, clouds of dust or slick mud. Watch out for dangerous curves and loose gravel. You may encounter snow and ice north of Coldfoot any month of the year. Expect and prepare for all conditions. There is no cell phone service.” Big trucks have the unofficial right of way, and for good reason. They make up most of the average 280 vehicles per day that travel the highway.

Deadhorse / 8 Prudhoe Bay


Coldfoot 6


4 Fairbanks 3


1 Big Lake, Milepost 52.3 Parks Highway The journey begins on the NANA Construction lot where 10 to 100 tons of prefabricated buildings are loaded on a truck using cranes, rollers and/or jacks. Before the rigs leave the shop, hydraulics on the bed are used to lift it far enough off the ground for the trip and all tires are carefully checked. Depending on the trailer and the weight of the modules, 18 to 100 tires are needed, and they are checked at every stop on the journey. The weather and load size dictate the length of the trip, which can take anywhere from three to seven days. Three to four pilot cars, a few drivers and at least one push truck are required for these huge loads. A push truck has a 35,000-pound counterweight to help the vehicle up steep grades.

Big Lake 1

Big Lake to Deadhorse 812.7 miles 22 hours, 3 minutes 20

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5 Arctic Circle, Milepost 115, Dalton Highway Twenty-five miles beyond the bridge, drivers cross the Arctic Circle. Along this imaginary line, the sun stays above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at the summer solstice on June 21, and stays below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at the winter solstice on December 21.

6 Coldfoot, Milepost 175, Dalton Highway 2 Denali National Park, Milepost 237.4, Parks Highway The drive from NANA Construction to the North Slope is more than 800 miles — further than traveling from Atlanta, Georgia, to Chicago, Illinois. The first section consists of the scenic Parks Highway through Denali National Park where, on a clear day, you can see Mount McKinley, North America’s highest peak at more than 20,000 feet.

4 Yukon River Bridge, Milepost 56, Dalton Highway Bridges are a challenge and there are more than twenty on the Haul Road. A driver has to slow down on the bridges and, in some cases, have state regulators watch them cross. The Yukon River Bridge is a quartermile long with the Trans Alaska Pipeline fastened underneath it.

The next stop for most drivers is in Coldfoot, about 200 miles north of Fairbanks. Coldfoot is the last place to get gas, food and other supplies for 240 miles.

7 Atigun Pass, Milepost 245, Dalton Highway This is Alaska’s highest highway pass, at 4,800 feet above sea level. Atigun Pass crosses the Brooks Range, which forms part of the Continental Divide.

8 Deadhorse, Milepost 414, Dalton Highway Public access along the Dalton Highway ends at Deadhorse, but modules and equipment destined for the oilfields pass through a security gate before making their deliveries.

3 Fairbanks, Milepost 356.8, Parks Highway It usually takes about seven to eight hours to travel the 300 miles from NANA Construction’s yard to Alaska’s second largest city, Fairbanks. Eleven miles north of Fairbanks is the junction with the Elliott Highway, the next stretch of road on the more than 800 mile journey, and 73 miles further is the junction with the Dalton Highway — the only road to Prudhoe Bay.

Running parallel to the pipeline, these 414 miles are one of the most isolated roads in the United States. The Dalton Highway begins north of Fairbanks and ends at the Arctic Ocean. 21

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NANA’s Louisiana Purchase: The Workings of GIS By Ted Griggs


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In 2011, NANA Development Corporation (NDC) purchased GIS, a Louisiana-based company that focuses on maintenance and repair work in the Gulf of Mexico. The purchase was part of NANA’s vision to expand into other geographic markets and to gain the expertise needed to continue capitalizing on the opportunities available in Alaska’s upcoming offshore oil and gas business. The transition from exploration to development could take a decade, so NDC is using this time to build its offshore experience to demonstrate it can serve that sector of the market. With the purchase of GIS, NDC has added a wealth of oilfield services, both offshore and onshore, to its portfolio. GIS’ project management teams’ design capabilities cover a wide range – from a simple set of stairs to critical additional support a platform requires to handle a 600-ton drilling rig. GIS’ six fabrication yards turn those designs into reality, churning out 3,500 to 4,000 projects each year, ranging in size from $500 to $2 million. GIS has also moved into the servicing of oil and gas companies in massive, onshore shale formations in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In those areas, GIS teams are constructing concrete well pads, building and maintaining entry roads to drilling sites, and even putting together the 30 million gallon impoundments that hold water for fracking operations.

Once drilling work NANA shareholders have the is completed, GIS’ opportunity to experience working at GIS, our Louisiana-based company that environmental services group moves in, cleaning provides maintenance and construction to the oil industry. Shareholders hydrocarbons from learn transferable skills like welding, tanks and vessels, and construction and fabrication from some decontaminating pipes of the best in the industry. These are tainted by naturally important work skills our shareholders are occurring radioactive able to utilize anywhere in the world, from material. A fabrication Red Dog Mine, to Prudhoe Bay and the project typically begins Gulf of Mexico. with a call from a large client, such as Shell, BP and Chevron, or one of several smaller companies. “For example, a call comes in because a flow line has blown out offshore,” said Scott Dubois, manager of GIS’ Galliano Fabrication Yard. “They need it built as quickly as we can build it. If it takes working all day and working all night, we get it built.” A GIS project manager works out the details with the customer and produces a drawing. The fabrication yard then goes to work, ordering the materials, building the line, welding on the flanges, which allow the pipe to be put together offshore, X-raying the welds, pressure testing the pipe, sandblasting it, and giving it three coats of paint. Once the line is completed, the Galliano yard uses its 80-ton crane to load the pipe segments — a flow line may be ten feet long or 200 freet — onto a truck, which carries 23

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them to the GIS Fourchon dock around 25 miles away, or to another waterfront facility. Sometimes the project is too big to assemble in the fabrication yard, so the yard performs 90 percent of the assembly work, and then the pieces are trucked to a dock and completed onsite. “The average flow line takes seven or eight days to fabricate, and then GIS’ construction crews install the line, a process that can take one day or as many as ten, depending on how many lines are being changed and the other issues involved,” DuBois said.

Offshore Expertise “GIS’ core business remains maintaining, upgrading and repairing offshore platforms,” President Mark Pregeant said. “It’s what the company does best. For example, say a client has a three-year-old platform that was engineered and designed with a daily production capacity equivalent to 40,000 barrels of oil. But new wells have since upped production to 50,000 barrels of oil. What we do is go out there and upgrade the platform, put in bigger pipe, bigger equipment and on and on to where it can withstand 60,000 barrels of oil a day. That’s what we do every day.” And that’s not all GIS does. If an offshore well’s production slows, the client may ask GIS to install water injection equipment — huge, high-pressure pumps that force water underground and make the oil come to the surface more rapidly. Most of GIS’ maintenance involves the typical work necessary offshore, where valves, pipes and other structures corrode and pumps and other equipment wear out more rapidly than on land, and this is the kind of work that never stops. An eight- to ten-person GIS crew handles repairs on the smaller offshore platforms. The much larger deepwater platforms, those in 2,000 feet of water or deeper, require 25-person crews. GIS also handles larger repair jobs involving hurricane damage. The winds from these storms can tear off gratings, stairs, and handrails, and have been known to topple platforms. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s 175-mph winds destroyed 115 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and damaged 52 others. GIS was one of the companies that provided the repairs and structural improvements following the devastation.

“NANA plans to capitalize on GIS’ expertise as Alaska’s offshore oil and gas business moves from the exploration phase to development,” Helvi Sandvik, NDC president, said.

“NANA plans to capitalize on GIS’ expertise as Alaska’s offshore oil and gas business moves from the exploration phase to development,” NDC President Helvi Sandvik said. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated more than 90 billion barrels of oil and nearly 1,700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas may be recoverable off Alaska’s coast. Sandvik said NANA’s newly acquired offshore expertise will allow NANA to serve that sector of the industry as it is developed in Alaska.

The Acquisition GIS is NANA’s largest acquisition to date, furthering NANA’s growth strategy through diversification. “NANA began evaluating the Gulf of Mexico several years ago,” Sandvik said. “The thinking at the time was that NANA might be able to move some of what it does in Alaska to the Gulf. But we very quickly realized that particular part of the world is not unlike Alaska, in that you really need to understand that marketplace, you really need to understand that geography. And so we altered our strategy.” Instead of shifting its know-how to the Gulf, NANA began looking to buy a Gulf Coast company and its expertise. NANA spent three or four years fully evaluating the marketplace and becoming familiar with good companies, before identifying GIS as a potential target. “As often happens in business, the stars really aligned,” Sandvik said. GIS was looking for a buyer when NANA came calling.

Focusing on Oil & Gas GIS was founded in 1948 by Pregeant’s grandfather. The company originally repaired commercial fishing boats. But as Louisiana’s oil and gas business grew, GIS also began repairing boats converted to service the rigs. Soon, GIS was well on its way to focusing solely on work for the oil and gas industry. Pregeant’s father and uncles eventually sold the company to their sons. The third generation of Pregeants refined the fabrication and service operations, integrating safety training and adding other lines of business. In 2009, a private equity firm, Huntsman Gay Global Capital, bought controlling interest in GIS. Huntsman worked with GIS management to add even more services, making the firm more of a one-stop shop for energy companies, before selling to NANA. Pregeant began working at the company 32 years ago when he was 17. Before the sale to Huntsman, GIS did not have a formal CEO. The family made all the decisions. “We’ve kind of evolved along the way. I’ve been a big part of the company the last 15 or 20 years,” Pregeant said. “Before that I was just a good worker along the way and sometimes a bad worker probably.” Pregeant said he couldn’t take credit for the new services added in the years he’s been CEO. “Those decisions came about in all kinds of different ways,” he said. Pregeant said


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he actually resisted adding the instrumentation and electrical business, which now employs 400 to 450 people. As the story is told, a friend called and said there was an opportunity: one company was buying another, and many of the employees at the acquisition target did not want to work for the buyer. The friend asked how Pregeant felt about getting into instrumentation and electrical work. “So one morning I woke up not wanting to be in the I&E business, and about a week later I was in the I&E business,” Pregeant said.

Safety Training “GIS began working in the shale formations when a customer ran into some safety issues with a contractor in Texas,” Pregeant said. The customer asked GIS to provide safety training there. That was four or five years ago, and GIS is still in Texas. In addition to safety training, GIS provides project management, construction, fabrication and environmental services and offers the same services in Pennsylvania and Ohio. “Mainly, GIS moved into areas where its customers needed the help,” he said.

Employing NANA Shareholders GIS provides new opportunities for NANA shareholders, with about 20 shareholders traveling the 4,000 miles to Louisiana to train for work as welders. “Any shareholder choosing to deploy to GIS has the opportunity to build skills that will be needed when that type of work becomes available in their own backyard,” Sandvik said. Eleven shareholders are still working in Louisiana, while others are taking a break at home before returning. Some shareholders have found Louisiana a little too hot (temperatures in the fabrication shop can top 100 degrees in the summer), but others are comfortable and thriving. With the acquisition of GIS, new partnerships and opportunities are forming every day. GIS has numerous contacts in the industry, oil and gas companies that respect GIS’ work and trust its brand. There is no doubt that providing maintenance and repair services for energy companies in the Gulf of Mexico will play a key role in NANA Development Corporation’s effort to serve Alaska’s stilldeveloping offshore oil and gas business. And NANA will continue to grow in ways its early shareholders may never have dreamed possible. z TED GRIGGS IS A FREELANCE WRITER BASED IN LOUISIANA.


GIS was established in 1948 and has remained a family-run company. Mark Pregeant, GIS’ CEO, sits with Charlie Curtis, an NDC and GIS board member from Kiana, Alaska.


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GIS is a robust service-oriented company serving the oil and gas industry and providing a full range of construction services, which include project management, offshore/ onshore plant construction and maintenance operations, electrical and instrumental installation and maintenance, and dock site support and services.

With more than 50 years of combined Health, Safety & Environmental experiences, GIS offers training programs to meet the needs of the oil & gas industry. GIS works hard to minimize the risks to workers and developed the L.I.F.E. safety program. Through the process of Looking, Intervening, Facilitating, and Eliminating, the objective is to have zero injuries.


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NANA News NANA WorleyParsons making Big Waves in Canada NANA WorleyParsons Fire and Gas has another opportunity to export its expertise outside of Alaska. After successfully engineering and designing a full fire protection system for one of the mega power shovels in the oil sands of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, they were invited back for another engineering challenge: fire protection for a floating skimmer barge to be used on the effluent ponds in the same Syncrude Canada, Ltd. development. Syncrude is one of Canada’s largest producers of crude oil from sand mines. The barge will constantly monitor the effluent ponds and be ready to immediately skim any hydrocarbons that may venture into the area. The NANA WorleyParsons team met some unique challenges, because the equipment is detached from land and operating in a harsh environment. Client feedback surveys that noted “marked improvements in innovation” demonstrated that the Fire and Gas Center of Excellence was true to its reputation. This was not the first venture outside of Alaska. In addition to the power shovel, NANA WorleyParsons Fire and Gas has completed projects in Egypt. Looking forward, they are also pursuing a relationship with GIS in the Gulf of Mexico.

NMS’s Kiana Salad Bar Video Wins National Attention When Dawn Kimberlin, NMS food and facilities management division director of marketing, put together a three-minute video about the new Kiana School salad bar, she was hoping to win the “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” contest. Instead, the video garnered national recognition with a feature on the “Let’s Move!” blog sponsored by the White House ( blog/2012/06/18/kiana-school-alaska-gets-salad-bar). “Let’s Move!” is a health initiative launched by First Lady Michele Obama dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.

NANA Construction HR director teaches cultural values

NMS implemented the Kiana School salad bar in January to overwhelming kudos, not only from the kids but also with teachers and staff. Students enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, including pears, apples, oranges, carrots and lettuce every day. Kiana is a village of about 375 residents, 57 miles from NANA’s home in Kotzebue, Alaska.

At NANA Construction, cultural training is incorporated into every new employee orientation. “This is geared toward teaching employees about our Iñupiaq culture, language and values,” said Human Resources Director Selina Moose.

Through the video NMS shows that salad bars are possible even in the most challenging conditions, and thanks to Della Karmun and the NMS Northwest Arctic Borough School District team, salad bars are available in all NANA region villages during the school year.

Part of the orientation is a demonstration of nonverbal ways Iñupiaq people communicate which might otherwise be misunderstood. For example, a manager might become frustrated waiting for a response to a question when, in fact, a raise of the eyebrows indicated yes.

“People learn a lot about our culture through this orientation. Senior managers tell me, ‘Now I understand.’” Eye contact is another area where co-workers could feel “dissed,” or disrespected, says Moose. For the Iñupiaq people, maintaining eye contact with someone — especially an elder in the community — symbolizes disrespect. “Managers and other employees need to know things like this. We want them to know things about our culture that could easily be miscommunicated,” notes Moose. During orientation training, Moose emphasizes NANA’s core principals which were adopted from the traditional Iñupiaq values. “I reiterate the three core values of NANA, especially ‘Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect.’” Moose, a NANA shareholder from the village of Kiana, has served NANA and its companies for more than 20 years. A guest speaker at numerous conferences, she was awarded the Governor’s “Removal of Attitudinal Barriers,” Award in 2004.

NMS Staffing Opens Houston Office When Tom Gilbert brainstormed opportunities for NMS Staffing, you could probably guess what was on his mind: location, location, location. “Opening a branch in Houston was the logical choice for expansion,” says Gilbert, who is Vice President of Operations. “Many of the companies we work with are headquartered in Houston, with offices in the Woodlands. Having an office next door to these companies is where we need to be.” Tom Kernan, General Manager for NMS Staffing in Houston, says that the location in Houston gives NANA more opportunity to provide services to top notch clients. “We want the right clients – safe clients who are also profitable.” According to Kernan, NANA runs a safety test on clients before sealing the deal to work with them, to minimize risk of injury for employees and to maintain a good reputation. NMS Staffing won a contract with Protect Controls, Inc., a manufacturer of Power Control Buildings which house portable data center panels that are shipped to clients all over the world. Customers of Protect Controls include large industry organizations such as oil & gas producers, refineries and petrochemical plants. NMS Staffing provides recruiting, advertising and hiring services to Protect Controls. After two decades of service to the oil and gas industry in Alaska, expanding to the Lone Star State gives NANA access to a vibrant new market. “The market in Texas is competitive,” says Kernan. “But we’re confident that we can attract great clients there.”


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Akima Brings Top Scientists to Region Classrooms Students in Selawik and Noorvik received hands-on lessons from one of the country’s top security and technology scientists. It was part of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s “Fun with Science” program that introduces elementary school-aged kids to the basics of science through hands-on demonstrations. Lawrence Livermore’s mission is to strengthen the nation’s security through development and application of world-class science and technology. Akima Infrastructure Services, LLC has the workforce contract for Lawrence Livermore National Lab, so it paid to bring the program to Northwest Alaska. Nicholas Williams, a retired senior electronics engineer at the Lab who now teaches “Fun with Science,” and Diane Nelson, the Lab’s exhibit specialist, spent several days in the two villages. “Not only are the students having fun with these experiments, but they’re learning something,” said Williams. Their demonstrations ranged from how electricity works to making elephant toothpaste. “This was a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Selawik School Principal Platonida Kashatock. “Our culture is very visual, and I believe most of our village students are visual learners, so the experiments were great for them.” This was the first time the “Fun with Science” program has been taught outside of California.

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NANA Worldwide

4 Continents 500 Project Locations 8 Countries 11,500 Employees 50 States $767.8M Payroll US Virgin Islands

Saipan Guam

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909 West 9th Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 P (907) 265-4100 F (907) 265-4123 Email: Web:

The drive from NANA Construction to the North Slope is longer than traveling from Atlanta to Chicago.

NANA has had seven companies involved in operations on the North Slope since 1975.

Did you know ?

GIS works on 3,500-4,000 projects every year.

Point Thomson, Alaska is estimated to hold about eight trillion cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of millions barrels of oil.

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NMS has more than five million manhours without a lost-time incident.

4/5/13 4:12 PM

Profile for NDC Communications

NANAtkut - Oil & Gas Issue  

NANA Development Corporation employee magazine. Third edition.

NANAtkut - Oil & Gas Issue  

NANA Development Corporation employee magazine. Third edition.