North to Alaska – Video Tour – 1987 at Prudhoe Bay’s Eastern Oil Field’s MMC Facilities on a Consulting Gig

That’s Ray Svenson above – in the start of a video of our spartan offices and living quarters in Prudhoe Bay in 1987.

Given the recent political news this fall, and the mentioning of Alaska and pipelines, I dug out the old VHS tape and made the conversion to DVD and then the conversion to MP4. Starring Ray Svenson, Karen Kennedy and me, Guy Wallace as the videographer (seen only in window reflections and mirror reflections, etc.), plus the many extras who were “off shift” and playing cards, shooting pool, at one of the many places to get free food, etc. A supporting cast of thousands you might say.

This 0:15:15 video was shot on December 16th, 1987 at the MMC facilities at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope in the Arctic Circle. We were on the east side of the two “oil fields” of Prudhoe Bay – one run by BP (west) and the other run by ARCO (east). See the map in the video. At the left is my souvenir calendar.

It was cold that day – 22 below – according to a TV monitor in the MMC. The day (night) that I got off the plane it was 180 degrees below zero with the wind chill.

I took our firm’s video camera on a walking tour to video the “ship-like” environment my first day on the site.


We (the partners/owners of R.A. Svenson & Associates – soon to become” SWI – Svenson & Wallace Inc.) were there to conduct a large PPP – Pay Progression Program project where we used our Performance Modeling and enabling K/S analysis methods to feed a performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification System and about 2000 Performance Tests for about 20 technical populations – plus the administrative systems/processes to operate and maintain the system and tests over time.

I only ran one of the 20 analysis meetings we ran for the project – I was field testing the methodology that I had helped Ray and Karen design for the project planning and pricing of this effort. We also used half-a-dozen contractors to assist us in this effort. I was very busy serving my AT&T Network Systems (later Lucent) clients with several projects simaltaneously. At the left-above is my “contractor badge” for ARCO.

Go here for a set of Blog Postings on that project and related projects/topics – and go here for a free PDF book about the methodology that Ray Svenson and I wrote and published this past January 2008.

Here is a key fob I bought later in the project from one of the “workers” who was involved in making souvenirs from the “pipe” of the pipeline – in this case: key fobs.

Having spent the better part of my 3 year tour in the US Navy (1972-1975) on a US war ship (the USS Okinawa LPH-3) it was “deja vu all over again” as the passageways and offices and mess hall, restroom facilities, living quarters – were all very reminiscent of a Navy ship – perhaps not of the luxury liner types of ships. It had only been 12 years in between my time in the Navy and this project.

Only here we were along-side the sea – not at sea – and we were sitting 12 feet above the Alaska tundra, our series of mobile home-like buildings up on stilts (don’t want to warm/thaw the tundra below don’t you know), strung together in a crazy quilt end-to-end and sometimes stacked. If you’ve ever spent time a naval ship – this would have looked/felt familiar.

Seven years later in 1994 we (as SWI) did a similar effort for the folks running the Alaska Pipeline (our ARCO client had moved to a new employer). For another 20 populations and developed approxiamtely 2000 Performance Tests.

Alaska is a beautiful state. Travel there after the spring thaw – before mosquito season – or in the fall – after mosquito season. Talk to someone who knows about mosquito season where you are going – really knows – or you’ll be sorry. Unless that has changed since the late 80’s and early 90’s.

All of our PPP-driven Qualification/Certification Performance Tests and Adminstrative Systems/Processes design project experiences are shared in the free PDF book: “Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems” at


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One comment on “North to Alaska – Video Tour – 1987 at Prudhoe Bay’s Eastern Oil Field’s MMC Facilities on a Consulting Gig

  1. Pingback: December 16, 1987 I Was Working Up In Prudhoe Bay, Alaska | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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