Hilcorp, one of the biggest privately held O&G companies in the US, made two announcements in recent days that provide some needed good news in the O&G space amid the current downturn. It has filed an application to build an island in the Arctic to facilitate E&P work in the region, and each of its employees has received a year-end bonus of $100K.
Hilcorp CEO Jeff Hildebrand
An Island In The Arctic
This weekend, Hilcorp that it had filed a Development and Production Plan with the BOEM for the construction of a self-contained island in the Arctic connected to land by a subsea pipeline.
This filing is the first of many steps in the permitting process, which involves multiple approvals at the local, state and federal levels and is expected to take more than two years. A final analysis and decision to proceed with the project will be made after all the necessary permits have been issued, Hilcorp said.
The plan calls for construction of a self-contained island connected to land by a subsea pipeline.
The proposed island is similar to other islands that have been developing Alaska’s offshore O&G resources for almost three decades: Endicott, Northstar, Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq.
Endicott is Alaska’s first artificial island built for offshore oil production, and has been operating since 1986. Hilcorp purchased the interests in Endicott and three other oilfields in 2014. Photo: libertyprojectak.com
It will take an estimated two years to build the 9.3-acre, manmade Liberty Island. It will have facilities for drilling, production, production support, utilities, camp and relief-well area. The outer perimeter of the island will be heavily reinforced using proven North Slope technology.
Liberty Island will sit about six miles offshore in 19 feet of water, and will be located 15 miles east of Prudhoe Bay in Foggy Island Bay. Hilcorp said the area is well protected from the moving polar icepack, shielded by a belt of offshore barrier islands and covered by stable “shore-fast” sea ice in winter.
Though Liberty Island will be located near shore, no permanent road or causeway will connect it to the mainland. Personnel and equipment will be transported via boat or helicopter.
Partners in the Liberty Project include Hilcorp Alaska, LLC; BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.; and ASRC Exploration, LLC.
Hilcorp was founded in 1989. It describes itself on its website as the largest oil producer in Louisiana. The Houston-based company has over 1,350 employees in multiple operating areas including the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, the Northeast United States, and Alaska’s Cook Inlet and North Slope.
An Early Christmas Gift
The year-end bonus for its 1,381 employees comes as the company says it saw strong performance this year. Because of its generous bonus policy, Hilcorp made the 2015 ‘Fortune 100 ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list for the third consecutive year, ranking 20th.
Photo: Screen grab, Fox 26 Houston
Earlier this year, Hilcorp told Fortune that if its employees met certain goals, that each one of them would receive the $100K bonus. They have done so, and the bonuses have been awarded, according to Ktvu.com. The news outlet quoted receptionist Amanda Thompson as saying, “It’s just a true gift and I don’t think that myself along with everyone is not going to give less than 100% every day.”
Thompson told Ktvu says the company met a 5 year goal in 2010. Each employee was awarded a choice of $35,000 in cash or a $50,000.