Former Union Oil Co. of California employees in Cook Inlet whose jobs were in limbo following the purchase of Unocal by Chevron Oil Corp. last year are going to keep their jobs for awhile and will have some new co-workers this year.
According to Roxanne Sinz, a Chevron spokesperson in Anchorage, Unocal’s platforms will continue to operate and all the employees will keep their jobs.
“Chevron has decided to fully integrate its Unocal and Chevron Alaska assets and the decision to combine these assets was made after completion of a strategic evaluation of the Unocal and Chevron portfolio of Alaska properties,” Sinz said. “We are keeping all of our employees, in fact we’re going to be hiring some additional employees.”
Those employees may be needed when Chevron upgrades the former Unocal platforms to hold steady the 12,000 barrels of oil per day produced in Cook Inlet. In testimony before the Alaska Legislature on March 1, Chevron’s General Manager for Alaska John Zager said Chevron could be spending a significant amount in Cook Inlet to keep production levels even.
“With our partners’ approval, we could invest $200 million over four years in just the oil part of our Cook Inlet business,” he said.
Getting four more years of production from the aging Cook Inlet wells is the main goal of the investment, though Sinz declined to offer specifics on possible expansion projects Zager mentioned during his testimony.
“Our next step towards integrating Alaska assets is an organizational planning process which is now under way, and implementation is anticipated to begin in the near future and it has already begun,” she said. “We are gearing up to do some new work here in the next few years, but we don’t even know the specifics of that at this point.”
With details as sketchy as they are, the news should be a relief for the nearly 100 Chevron/Unocal employees on the Kenai Peninsula.
“I think this brings a level of stability back that’s been gone since the sale was announced,” said Bill Popp, the oil and gas liaison for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Chevron employees working in Cook Inlet contacted by the Clarion were not allowed to comment on the development.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.