Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, October 08, 2004

Conoco Phillips' Meyers takes transfer to Russia

ANCHORAGE - The top executive for Conoco Phillips in Alaska is taking a new job for the company in Russia.

Kevin Meyers will become president of exploration and production operations in Russia and the Caspian Sea region, according to the company.

His replacement as president of Conoco Phillips Alaska Inc. is James Bowles, who retired from Conoco's predecessor, Phillips Petroleum, in 2002 and is now returning to work.

Meyers, 50, is a longtime veteran of Alaska oil. He moved to Alaska in 1987 to help manage the Kuparuk and Prudhoe Bay oil fields, rising to president of Arco Alaska in 1998 and staying on as president after Phillips bought Arco Alaska in 2000. He retained the title after Conoco and Phillips merged in 2002.

Meyers will transfer to Moscow after a "brief transition period," Conoco said. The move is related to Conoco's recent purchase of a stake in Lukoil, a major Russian oil company.

According to the Conoco statement, Meyers will be responsible for executing company strategy in its joint venture with Lukoil, as well as other Conoco interests around the Caspian Sea off the coast of Kazakhstan.

Fired North Pole officer seeks reinstatement

FAIRBANKS - A North Pole police sergeant fired after allegations of sexual harassment has gone to court seeking his job back.

Former Sgt. Mark Jurgens' attorney argued Wednesday that his client did not deserve immediate firing after a career marked by good evaluations and conduct.

But North Pole City Attorney Zane Wilson said Jurgens' conduct over an extended period of time was serious enough to warrant termination, even though he was never warned or disciplined for his behavior.

To make his point, Wilson showed Superior Court Judge Charles Pengilly a photo Jurgens took of a co-worker. Wilson said Jurgens put an adult sex toy behind a female co-worker's head and tapped her on the shoulder. Jurgens then snapped a digital photo when she turned around and was face-to-face with the toy.

Wilson said Jurgens also made sexually suggestive phone calls to a dispatcher while he was off duty and threw objects down the front of female co-workers' shirts.

"This is the kind of behavior that is so absolutely unacceptable that it can't be tolerated and he has to be terminated," Wilson said.

Alyeska warns about Valdez terminal job cuts

VALDEZ - Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. is telling workers to be prepared for significant work force cuts at the Valdez Marine Terminal, beginning next year.

"Elimination of Valdez jobs in Valdez will have repercussions that extend beyond the terminal," the company said in an internal report issued to workers last month.

The Sept. 15 report is part of Alyeska's continuing effort to explain what it calls it's "strategic reconfiguration" of the terminal in the face of declining oil production. The impact of the job losses will be felt, the report says, between 2005 and 2007, according to the Valdez Star.

The report does not contain any specific numbers, but states that Alyeska has not determined how many jobs will be eliminated at the terminal. Currently, Alyeska has 300 employees on site plus scores of contract workers.

In addition to losses in direct jobs, there also will be reductions in positions among the eight companies under contract.

Rancher wants more time to respond to suit

KODIAK - A Chirikof Island rancher is asking for more time to respond to a lawsuit filed by eight people who say he owes them more than $100,000 and 100 head of cattle.

The case stems from efforts by Tim Jacobson and his company Herd Management LLC to remove cattle from the remote Gulf of Alaska island in 2002. In 2000 the federal government ordered the herd of at least 700 to be removed from Chirikof.

The plaintiffs allege Jacobson, holder of a ranching lease on Chirikof, owes them for services they provided during attempts of removing the animals. They filed a lawsuit with seven specific complaints in February 2004.

After process servers failed to locate Jacobson this summer, the plaintiffs published a notice of their lawsuit in the Kodiak Daily Mirror four times, with the last publication appearing Aug. 31. Court rules make a defendant vulnerable to default judgment if they do not respond within 30 days after the last of four notices is published.

The defendants, Jacobson and Herd Management, filed a motion for continuance with the Superior Court of Alaska in Kodiak on Monday. The plaintiffs' attorneys have asked for a default judgment.

Sterling group plans auction to help ex-cons

KENAI - Bid on an autographed baseball or watercolor and keep an ex-con from returning to prison.

That's the hope of an auction of sports memorabilia, original art and a wide variety of other donated items to be held Friday night at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel.

The auction - called "A Night to Remember" - is being held to raise money to build a transitional living facility for men who are released from prison and have nowhere to live.

The event is being organized by Mercy Love Servants, the Sterling-based outreach arm of Ministry of the Living Stones, and its partners, Anchorage-based Alaska Correctional Ministries and Artists Against Hunger. The groups say little is being done to help people make the transition to the outside world once they are released from prison.

"It came to our attention the felons who were leaving the prison were pretty much given bus tokens and told to stay out of trouble," said Tina Wegener, an MLS administrator and an organizer of the event.

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