BP reorganizes Alaska operations

Posted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

ANCHORAGE - BP is nearly finished with a reorganization of its Alaska operations but should end up with about the same number of employees as before, according to a company spokesman.

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. had roughly 2,000 employees before the restructuring began several months ago and will have about the same number when it is finished, Steve Rinehart told the Anchorage Daily News on Tuesday.

The company dismantled two major business units. One managed Prudhoe Bay oil fields and the other managed all other BP oil fields on the North Slope. BP runs most North Slope fields on behalf of itself and the other oil-company leaseholders.

BP replaced the business units with two new ones. One runs BP surface operations and the other maintains underground oil reservoirs.

Some Alaska employees are getting new responsibilities, Rinehart said. Others lost jobs, retired or found new positions at BP, he said.

"We didn't go into this with a goal to reduce the head count," Rinehart said.

Two BP senior vice presidents in Alaska were given new job titles and revised responsibilities. Mike Utsler, who ran the Greater Prudhoe Bay production unit, is in charge of North Slope surface operations. Max Easley, who ran BP's other oil fields, such as North Star and Endicott, is in charge of maintaining BP below-surface operations.

Similar reorganization is under way at other BP operations around the world, Rinehart said.

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