From the North Slope to the Valdez Marine Terminal, the Stantec team has provided engineering services for Alyeska’s major facilities for more than 30 years. Tim Vig, Stantec Senior Principal based in Anchorage, recently shared some thoughts on the Stantec-Alyeska relationship and the firm’s role in TAPS operations.
How long has Stantec been connected to Alyeska/TAPS and what services does your team provide?
We’ve been working with Alyeska since the 1980s, providing a full range of architectural and engineering services for a variety of projects. Our engineers have worked from Pump Station 1 down to the marine terminal in Valdez.
We’ve worked with Alyeska on innovative and leading-edge analysis techniques and designs. Our team has shared expertise on transient hydraulics, pipe stress, structural analysis, 3-D modeling, and regulatory issues. We’ve been involved in important long-range planning studies that include topics like: low flow, crude oil heating, water removal, wax and ice mitigation, and recovered crude processing. The projects cover a range of designs, including new construction, lifecycle replacement, and facility removal.
Most recently, we’ve been working on pipe replacement projects and equipment lifecycle maintenance at all the pump stations and marine terminal.
Please talk about the strong relationship and connection your teams have with Alyeska staff and TAPS contractors.
Given Alaska’s small population, it’s not surprising that Alyeska’s and Stantec’s staff members are in many cases former co-workers and team members on projects going back decades. Reconnecting with them to solve new and exciting challenges is quite gratifying and personally rewarding.
What has the success of TAPS meant to your company?
Stantec is a global leader in the architectural/engineering world, with 22,000 employees on six continents. While a large firm clearly has a lengthy list of clients, the continued success of TAPS, particularly as oil throughput has slowed in recent years, is important to Stantec’s local office and our broader company.
Locally, we have more than 85 employees. We have recently hired nearly a dozen new employees in Alaska to better support Alyeska. While there are challenges because of oil prices and throughput, it is an exciting time to be an engineer in Alaska. Why so? Because engineers thrive on problem-solving.
What has the success of TAPS meant to you as a longtime Alaskan?
Personally, I have lived in Alaska for more than 30 years. I've seen what the oil and gas industry means to our state, providing thousands of jobs, a large measure of economic stability, and advancements in the lives of Alaskans. No doubt about it, TAPS is a big part of the economic fabric of the state. I'd like my kids to have the same opportunities in Alaska as I've had, so it's important to me personally that we help TAPS continue operating safely and economically for decades to come.