Students enrolled in the Prince William Sound Community College’s Millwright Program were invited by ConocoPhillips Alaska to participate in a tour of their Colville River Unit. Students on the trip included Michael Liljedahl, Drake Ridge, Jon Hollaus, Tiffeni Major, Jeremy Toth, and Dirk Yatchmeneff. They were accompanied by the Director of the Workforce Development & Training Department, BJ Williams, and Assistant Professor Dennis Eastman.
The purpose of the trip was to educate the students on the operations of an oil drilling facility. They were given tours of the processing areas and the machine and millwright facility. They also received instruction on the plant operation. This was a great opportunity: the Colville River Unit is in the Alpine field, the first North Slope field developed with horizontal well technology. It is located on the Western North Slope of the Colville River Delta, thirty-four miles west of the Kuparuk River Field and eight miles north of the Inupiat village of Nuiqsut.
In order to travel, students were required to complete specific training, such as Conoco’s North Slope safety instruction, where they learned about proper winter gear requirements and polar bear awareness. Williams stated, “We are very appreciative of Conoco’s interest in our Millwright Program and this is a great opportunity for the students to see how what they learn can turn into value in their working careers. I can’t begin to say how grateful we are to Conoco and to Heath Cabanski and Ben Dereaves for taking the time to spend with our students.”
For more information on opportunities with PWSCC’s Workforce Development & Training Department and the Millwright program, call Sue Smith at 834-1640.