The oil and gas industry provides significant opportunity for business and jobs on the central Kenai Peninsula. Now, a consortium of Anchorage-based companies catering to the petroleum industry has set up shop in Kenai.
The primary service offered is one revitalizing used drilling assets for resale and reuse, said Al Hull, sales and service manager of the Kenai office of Alaska Services and Technology.
"ASTech is an environmentally sound company," Hull said. "We recycle thread protectors instead of putting them in landfills."
Thread protectors are metal or plastic shields that can be screwed into either end of petroleum piping to seal off a line and preserve the "threads" or grooves that hold separate lengths of piping together. Hull said after extensive use, these materials are generally discarded.
ASTech teams with MRO Sales, an oil industry expediter. MRO, Hull said, specializes in getting the proper equipment to its clients.
"It means whatever you need, I can find and I can get it for you," he said. "Our business is solving problems."
Among MRO's product line is Belzona, an adhesive material that can be used for, among other things, patching pipes and ship hulls, Hull said.
Both companies are subsidiaries of Petroleum Equip-ment Services Inc., which has been owned and operated from Anchorage since 1983.
Petroleum Equipment Services president Kevin Durling said opening the Kenai location, he hopes, will be beneficial for his company and for his clients.
"By putting the three different groups together in Kenai, we hope to make business more economically viable," Durling said. "We want to allow the companies we represent better support.
"A lot of stuff we were having to build and ship down from Anchorage. Now, we can deliver from our (Kenai) property directly to the sites or docks."
Hull said much of the savings will be passed on to customers.
"We'll save oil companies money," he said. "So they don't have to go Outside."
But Durling stressed that refurbishing thread protectors is the main focus of the new location.
"ASTech is the main banner that we are flying in Kenai," he said.
Hull, who has lived in Kenai for 21 years, said he began working with ASTech four months ago preparing for the opening of the Kenai office. His office, he said, will handle all Petroleum Equipment business south of Anchorage starting from Girdwood.
Durling said the office, newly relocated from temporary digs at the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, is anticipating success.
"We'd like to see more growth," he said.
Hull hired the first staff member at the beginning of this week and said he expects to slowly build from there.
"I'd like to see four to six people working," he said. "A couple of outside salespeople and some warehouse workers."
Hull said orders started coming in for the new office from the time he began preparing to open. He said he is aware that he won't be the only shop in town providing a variety of services to the peninsula's oil industry, but he feels there is enough business to go around.
"I hope to be a big player," Hull said.
"The peninsula is a big piece of pie. I'm not here to put anybody out of business. I just want my piece."
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