More layoffs announced at Prudhoe Bay

As a result of a contract change with BP, over 230 Prudhoe Bay workers will be laid off in March, although they can pursue employment with the new contractor (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Over 260 Alaska workers — including over 180 union employees — will be laid off March 31 as a result of a contract change with oil company BP. Most of the employees were working at Prudhoe Bay.

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That’s according to a report to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, sent by the contractor, New Jersey-based Mistras Group, Inc.

According to BP spokesperson Dawn Patience, the decision to end the contract was made to reduce costs amid continued low oil prices. Mistras performed inspections on pipelines and other infrastructure for BP.

BP instead awarded the contract to Anchorage-based Kakivik CCI, a subsidiary of Bristol Bay Industrial. Kakivik is non-union, according to BP. Kakivik was already doing a large portion of BP’s pipeline inspection work.

Kakivik spokesperson Sheila Schooner said the company is now seeking over 200 workers to fill the contract, although Schooner could not say whether the contract change would result in a net loss of jobs. Schooner Kakivik is encouraging Mistras workers to apply for the jobs.

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Elizabeth Harball is a reporter with Alaska's Energy Desk, covering Alaska’s oil and gas industry and environmental policy. She is a contributor to the Energy Desk’s Midnight Oil podcast series. Before moving to Alaska in 2016, Harball worked at E&E News in Washington, D.C., where she covered federal and state climate change policy. Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Harball is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.