ANCHORAGE, Alaska — August 10, 2022— The Alaska Oil and Gas Association will honor individuals and companies for their achievements working in the oil and gas industry at its annual conference on August 31 – September 1, 2022, at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage.

The 2022 AOGA Industry Awards winners are:

CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR SAFETY PERFORMANCE, sponsored by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance: NMS

The Contractor of the Year Award for Safety Performance, sponsored by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, recognizes an oil and gas support company that has demonstrated exemplary commitment to safety.

Every year brings new challenges which NMS strives to anticipate and overcome. In 2021, COVID was again a significant factor in how safety was addressed, and NMS went above and beyond in seeking out proactive solutions. The nomination form is not long enough to capture the extent of their efforts to maintain a safe working environment.
One highlight from 2021, NMS implemented a company-wide “Good Catch and Near Miss Reporting” Contest that has been so successful they are continuing the program into 2022. Every time employees report a good catch or near miss safety incident in our safety database, they are actively making their workplace a safer place. In recognition of the commitment NMS employees dedicate to one of our core values, “Safety Guides Our Behavior,” NMS rewards them by conducting drawings from eligible entries and giving monthly and annual prizes through our “Good Catch” contest.

With 3,835,159 hours worked in 2021, NMS’ incident rate for total recordable cases was .36. In comparison, the national rate for 2021 was 3.2. NMS is always striving to make a safer work environment. They make every effort to provide a secure and safe working environment for our employees, contractors, and visitors.

THE RISING STAR AWARD: Tara McGrogan, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

The Rising Star Award honors a young professional oil and gas industry employee under the age of 35 who has made an immediate and definitive impact on the oil and gas industry in Alaska.

Tara McGrogan is a lifelong Alaskan, a champion for the Interior and an employee of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

Tara joined Alyeska’s Corporate Communications team as an intern in May 2016. At the time, she had earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a marketing concentration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She completed a Master of Business Administration in 2017 and returned to Alyeska after graduating.

As part of Alyeska’s Communications team, Tara learned the ropes of the pipeline, Alaska’s oil and gas industry, and public relations work by delving into creative storytelling mediums, such as writing, graphic design, photography and videography. Her role at Alyeska developed and changed, and she Tara was promoted to Corporate Communications Coordinator. Additionally, she began working in a central role with the Alaska Native Program, a program built around monitoring and maintaining Alyeska’s commitment to Alaska Native employees, communities, and partners, and building and sustaining those relationships.

Tara is the lead on Alyeska’s companywide recognition program, which honors our industry’s most innovative and inspiring work, and shining a light on the incredible people in the oil and gas industry. She gives the same efforts in helping lead Alyeska’s United Way campaign in recent years. In a sense, Tara stands out by standing back; and she is at the top of her game when she is working logistics and details, and finding ways to do things simpler and smarter to achieve better results. Tara cares deeply about people, about their success, and understands that people are the backbone and future of the oil and gas industry, and not only does she do everything in her power to see that others thrive, she repeatedly looks up and out beyond boundaries and business-as-usual to find ways to do work better and help others enjoy even greater success.

ALASKA OIL & GAS PROJECT OF THE YEAR FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AND INNOVATION, sponsored by Stoel Rives: Sag River Remediation Project, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

The Alaska Oil and Gas Project of the Year for Environmental Stewardship and Innovation, sponsored by Stoel Rives, honors an Alaska oil and gas industry project that demonstrates superior environmental stewardship in its area of design, construction, or operation and/or an innovative approach that sets a new standard for industry design, construction, or operation in Alaska. This year, we recognize work performed by Alyeska Pipeline’s Rivers and Floodplains team which addressed threats from 2021 spring flooding along the Sagavanirktok (Sag) River corridor.

Each spring, the powerful Sag River swells, surges, and snakes across the landscape as its ice-and-aufeis build-up melts or bursts, creating a fast-flowing, havoc-causing web of changing waterways. In recent years, the Sag River’s dramatics have wiped out sections of the Dalton Highway, and stopped critical traffic to and from Deadhorse for days. It also erodes areas of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) right of way.

And each year, Alyeska, TAPS contractors and many diverse partners team up to improve mitigations and minimize the annual threat, and follow-up any damage with earthmoving repairs. Annual improvements provide the necessary maintenance of spur dikes, reconstruction of rock vanes, upgrades and construction of additional flood control structures and placement of buried sills to protect the belowground mainline pipeline. In 2021, that essential work was completed with zero accidents, injuries, spills, COVID cases, permit violations or cost overruns.
Pipeline protection capital improvement projects help ensure safe, efficient and uninterrupted operations along TAPS. Warmer temperatures have impacted flooding along the Sag in recent years, and Alyeska has upgraded all affected structures in response to changing climate to withstand new conditions. A collaborative effort exists with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Transportation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to collect and share hydrological data along the northern half of Alaska to help monitor trends, forecast, and adapt to changes. Each year, these groups gather to share data and assessments before spring arrives to be best prepared for what the Sag may bring.

The planning and implementation of 2021 flood repairs was a team effort between several departments at Alyeska and contractor partners Ahtna Inc., Brice Inc., and Merrick, and solutions were delivered on time and on budget. Alyeska’s Environmental team worked closely with project managers to ensure all applicable local, state and federal permits were on hand and followed, resulting in a positive field audit by the State of Alaska Environmental Auditor.

MARILYN CROCKETT LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD, sponsored by Chevron: John A. Barnes, Hilcorp Alaska

The Marilyn Crockett Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the former AOGA executive director who dedicated her 41-year career to, as she stated, “growing Alaska’s economy through a vibrant oil and gas sector in the state.” This award honors the dedication Marilyn displayed during her career: exceptional devotion of time, effort, thought, and action consistently shown in his/her work for the betterment of the oil and gas industry in Alaska.

John Barnes has over 40 years in the upstream oil & gas business, with the majority of his experience in Alaska. In the fall of 2011, John joined Hilcorp Alaska as Senior Vice President of Exploration and Production and now serves as the Asset Team Leader for Hilcorp’s Prudhoe Bay East Team.

After graduating from Colorado School of Mines, Barnes began his career in the oil and gas industry in 1981 as a staff engineer with Marathon Oil Company right here in Anchorage, Alaska. Barnes’s other work experience includes assignments in West Texas, the North Sea and Houston as well as responsibility for CH2MHILL‘s Operations & Maintenance businesses in Alaska and Russia.

In the fall of 2011, Barnes joined Hilcorp Alaska as the first Alaska Senior Vice President; John led Hilcorp through two major Cook Inlet basin acquisitions, as well as the transition of British Petroleum’s (BP) Milne, Endicott, and Northstar assets to Hilcorp. Then in 2019, Hilcorp announced the purchase of BP’s interest in Prudhoe Bay, Barnes was again called on for the transition of BP’s properties to Hilcorp. Boosting oil production, morale and reserves on the Slope, Barnes was thrilled to be given the opportunity to take on his current role as Prudhoe Bay East’s Asset Team leader. While Barnes had been a part of many important exploration, development, and production projects over his more than 40-year career in the oil patch, Prudhoe was his ultimate career calling. Today, under Hilcorp’s leadership, Prudhoe Bay is poised to produce for decades to come.

Over the years John has given back to this industry and community in countless ways serving on AOGA’s board, the RDC Board, State Chamber of Commerce Board and Grace Christian School’s Board, just to name a few. John is a man of faith that was proud to raise his two children here in Alaska with his wife Gina. John will be retiring the end of September and looks forward to more time with them and his grandchildren, fishing the Kenai and enjoying the great outdoors right here at home.

The 2022 AOGA Industry Awards were received and reviewed by a five-person committee made up of industry experts, both active and retired, in the fields of government and public affairs; business; environmental and regulatory affairs; land management; and environmental law.

AOGA is a professional trade association whose mission is to foster the long-term viability of the oil and gas industry in Alaska for the benefit of all Alaskans. More information about the organization can be found at, on Facebook (AlaskaOilAndGas), or Twitter (@AOGA).

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