Friday, November 21, 2008

North to Alaska

This past week I was presented with an opportunity. The IT group for ConocoPhillips in Alaska is going to be short one person during the first quarter of 2009 and are asking if anyone would like to volunteer to fill in while the budget gets approved for them to hire someone.

I jumped on it and I really hope they choose to send me. I know of two others who volunteered, but that's just in Houston. I'm not sure if anyone in any of our other offices in the states have volunteered. I spoke to my supervisor today about it, asking all kinds of questions and generally making it known that I WANT IT!

Here's part of what I'm getting into.
  • Home office for ConocoPhillips Alaska is in Anchorage, but I'd be working in Kuparuk (The North Slope). As you can kinda see on the map above, Kuparuk is on the very edge of nowhere! The only way to get there is by plane. There are no roads, even when there's not 10ft of snow on the ground.
  • I'll be there from Jan-Mar. The 3 coldest and darkest months. Average minimum temp is -25f (without windchill factored in). See chart below.
  • Most of the time I'm there, I won't see daylight (24 hour darkness).
  • I have to take an 8 hour cold weather survival course in Anchorage before they fly me to Kuparuk and they'll issue me cold weather gear. The vast amount of my work will be done inside, but there will be times that I have to make my way to other buildings not attached to mine.
  • I'd work two weeks on two weeks off with 12 hour days.
  • During my two weeks off they'll fly me home, but I'm hoping they'll at least let me spend one of those two weeks off in Anchorage. That would be awesome!!

Now if they'll just pick me!!! I want this so bad I can taste it!
If you were unsure of my sanity up to this point, you now know for sure that I'm absolutely crazy! HA!


Jason and Lissa said...

You're so brave. Jason and I took an Alaskan cruise last year, but it was in the May/June time frame, when it was much nicer. It's a bea-U-tiful state! I hope you get it! Although we'd miss you at book club. :(

Kathie said...

I think it would be awesome! You would have such a unique and cool experience! Anchorage is wonderful and I think you would like it - it will be cold and dark (good thing you aren't afraid of the dark :) ). I hope that you get chosen too - another thing to add to my prayer list. Love ya!

asiaelizabeth said...

I think it would be awesome!Go for it! I hope you get it to. Then I get to read about your adventures!Theres nothing like living through others, right?!Isnt like 75% of the population of Alaska males the average age of 28? ;)

sturpin said...

That sounds like such a cool experience - I hope you get it!

Jennifer said...

Omigosh I can taste it too! I won't uncross my fingers until they pick you (or they fall off, whichever comes first)

Jeanette said...

That would be so wonderful! I hope you get it. So when would you know? Good Luck.

Heather said...

Your toilet post cracked me up and I completely know how you feel. Otherwise... I would so volunteer in your place!!! I hope you get it!

Cookie said...

Hey Dallas,
When will you find out if you get to go to Alaska? I could never do it. I am seriously allergic to the cold. Serious. Just ask my doctor. It all started back in Springville, Utah . . . around 10 years ago . . . but anyway, I hope you get it! Those of you who can stand the cold really ought to get the opportunity. Will you take lots of pictures? my blogidentity is anonymous but you can comment back at
and you and I are fb friends.