Kakivik featured in Alaska Airlines Magazine

Anchorage, AK — The April 2010 Alaska Airlines Magazine profiles Anchorage-based business that are continuing to thrive in the current economy. Among them, is Kakivik Asset Management. Read their profile of Kakivik below, or download the complete article (1.5 MB PDF).

Kakivik Asset Management

Alaska Airlines Magazine, April 2010
By Elizabeth Bluemink

One of the most critical jobs in Alaska is maintaining the state’s expansive network of oil-pipe infrastructure. Hundreds of workers on Alaska’s distant, oil-rich North Slope make a living by inspecting and repairing the pipes. Their mission becomes even more critical as the pipes age amid the harsh arctic environment.

Kakivik Asset Management is an Anchorage firm that specializes in nondestructive testing, external/internal corrosion inspections and other quality programs for the oil-and-gas, petrochemical and mining industries. In addition, since its creation in 1999 in a partnership between Bristol Bay Native Corporation—an Alaska Native regional corporation—and CH2M Hill, a global engineering firm, Kakivik has expanded into the Lower 48, where some of its new work involves inspecting oil refineries. The company recently opened an office in the Houston area.

Bristol Bay purchased CH2M Hill’s minority share last year, and Kakivik generated $32.8 million in sales. The earnings don’t go to the typical U.S. stockholder. Instead, profits trickle to Bristol Bay’s shareholders, who include Aleuts, Eskimos and Athabascans with blood ties to villages in the Bristol Bay Region.

Kakivik, like many other Native-owned firms, selected Anchorage as its headquarters because the city is the state’s “business epicenter,” says Bristol Bay Chief Operating Officer Scott Torrison, who is also interim chief executive at Kakivik.

Bristol Bay recruits workers from among its shareholders, who make up about 12 percent of the company’s 160 employees. Kakivik recently earned Department of Labor certification for an apprenticeship program—the first of its kind—for the technology it uses to test pipes and other heavy infrastructure on the North Slope and the Lower 48.

While many large-diameter pipes that carry oil can be tested with corrosion-detecting devices called “smart pigs” that travel along the pipes’ interior walls, smaller-diameter lines must be tested externally. Using radiographic and ultrasonic equipment, Kakivik workers create images of the interior of pipes, storage tanks and other equipment. They plug their data into computers to find anomalies too small to detect with the naked eye. Like a doctor looking at ultrasound images of a baby in the womb, “you’ve got to know what you are looking at,” Torrison says.


Download the complete article (1.5 MB PDF).