This Week in Alaska Business History February 25, 2001

Editor’s note: "This Week in Alaska Business History" revisits events that shaped our past.

"Those who cannot

remember the past are

condemned to repeat it."

-- George Santayana, 1863-1952

20 years ago this week

Anchorage Times

Feb. 26, 1981

Finances force Alaska Hospital to lay off 30

By Maureen Blewett

Times Writer

The Alaska Hospital and Medical Center, facing an empty bank account and three-quarters of a million dollars in unpaid bills, took what one administrator called an "odious" step Wednesday and laid off 30 employees.

The cutbacks came because the hospital’s bank account "dried up," said administrator Ron Pavellas.

Paradoxically, the financial crisis comes while business at the hospital booms. "We just didn’t have a cushion to pay the costs of more business," Pavellas said.

The layoffs, which take effect in two weeks, will not change patient care. No nurses or technicians were laid off, he said.

Anchorage Times

March 2, 1981

Canada wants U.S. gas line commitment

By Betty Mills

Times Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The Canadian government is seeking assurances from President Reagan that the U.S. is committed to the completion of the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline, Canadian ambassador Peter Towe said today.

At a breakfast briefing with reporters here, Towe said the Canadians would like a letter from the White House that emphasizes its support for the project, similar to the one provided by former President Carter.

"President Carter wrote a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau indicating he is in favor of the (pipeline) agreement and the construction of the pipeline and its conclusion before 1985," Towe said.

"We would like, and the financial markets and private industry would like, that the same kind of commitment from President Reagan. We want to make sure this executive branch is as interested as the previous administration."

10 years ago this week

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Feb. 25, 1991

’Intermediate’ fields will need larger discovery nearby, BP director says

By Ray Tyson

For the Journal of Commerce

Development of Niakuk, Seal Island, Pt. Thomson and other "intermediate" size fields in the Alaska Beaufort Sea hinges on a large oil discovery in the region, said John P. Browne, managing director of BP’s worldwide exploration arm.

"We (industry) have yet to find in the further offshore, something which is big enough to catalyze the development of that area," Browne said during a recent visit in Anchorage.

While location and water depth would determine just how big a field is needed for it to be economical, Browne said, "I think you need something in excess of 500 million barrels. If someone found 500 million barrels, I’m sure they would try very, very hard to get it going."

Last year BP suspended development of its 58 million barrel Niakuk field because of low oil prices and unanticipated expenses associated with gas-handling that nearly doubled the project’s costs to $250 million.

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Feb. 25, 1991

Bechtel wins second contract from Yukon Pacific

By Margaret Bauman

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Yukon Pacific Corp. has awarded a second preliminary design contract to Bechtel Corp., this time for an 800-mile pipeline and compressor stations for the Trans-Alaska Gas System.

The latest contract, effective Jan. 19, went to Bechtel in San Francisco, with the caution that neither contract signals an official go-ahead on the project.

"Like our earlier agreement with Bechtel for the LNG facility, the preliminary design work for the pipeline and compressor stations must also be done to satisfy permitting requirements for the construction of TAGS," said William V. McHugh, president and chief executive officer.

-- Compiled by Ed Bennett.

02/24/2001 - 8:00pm