CIRI shareholder reaches 20-year milestone at Peak
CIRI shareholder Russell “Rusty”Watson recently celebrated 20 years working with Peak Oilfield Service Co. He has thoroughly enjoyed his work with Peak, and plans to continue.
“They’ve been a very good company to work for,” said Watson. “No disappointments, a class-A operation.”
Peak Oilfield Service Co. is a 50-50 owned by CIRI and Nabors Industries Inc., the largest land-based drilling company in the world. Peak provides a wide range of equipment, maintenance, support and construction services to oil, gas and chemical projects on Alaska’s North Slope, the Kenai Peninsula and in Anchorage and Valdez.
Watson started working at Peak on April 11, 1988. He began as a laborer, then drove trucks and equipment for 12 years. He was promoted and has been a supervisor for eight years.Watson is currently a trucking supervisor stationed on Alaska’s North Slope at the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, responsible for vacuum, water and fuel trucks, Peak’s wash bay and building and maintenance of local ice roads in the winter season.
Some of the challenges Watson faces in his job include keeping equipment functioning at temperatures of 30 to 40 degrees below zero, ensuring that drivers are not put in danger and making sure the ice roads have enough ice to support the truck loads.
“It’s a whole different environment up there,” said Watson. “If the wind starts blowing, it can be very hard to drive.”
The ice roads Watson constructs and supervises are built over lakes and ocean ice as well as tundra. Watson relishes the challenge, however, and is proud of his crew’s performance.
“Seeing a 2 million-pound drilling rig go across your ice road and make it, makes it well worth it,” said Watson. “I have never had a rig break through one of our ice roads to where it couldn’t get out.”
Watson thinks highly of Peak’s organization and management.
“All the bosses, including myself, all drove and still have our CDLs, and can still get in the trucks and drive,” said Watson. “Peak is a company that recognizes good management. They don’t just put anybody in management positions.”
Watson has seen many changes in his 20 years with the company.
“Peak’s changed a lot. In the beginning, we didn’t have many brand new trucks and equipment,” said Watson. “Now we do. We’ve definitely upgraded to newer stuff. It’s very good for safety. Plus, guys like driving a decent piece of equipment.”
Watson is Athabascan Indian and was born in Anchorage. His wife, Sheila, is Inupiaq from Kiana, Alaska. They have three grown children, Hiram, Russell and Cassandra.
Watson’s father, CIRI shareholder Donald Watson, was a president of Cook Inlet Native Association and passed away in 1988. His mother, Dorothy Bernhard, is 74 years old and lives in Washington state.