"I was more than a little embarrassed to be the recipient of the key that was intended for others, but I was proud to have been a part of the team that helped build TAPS and was even more proud to be on the northern end of the pipeline during startup. The Northern District team, in 1977, had more than a few notable pipeliners, including my good friend Bill Howitt, who later became Senior Vice President and served Alyeska for many years until his recent retirement. The original photo and the golden key were donated to the Anchorage Museum and were part of the TAPS exhibit that existed there for many years."
"The epilogue to the story is that the senior Operations management team, having missed out on the golden weld ceremony, decided to host a 'platinum weld' ceremony in Valdez a few weeks later. The Operations group was not going to let those rough and tumble construction guys outdo them. The platinum weld ceremony was not widely attended and seems to have been lost in history, but the golden weld ceremony endures."
Mike Jens has more than 40 years of experience working on TAPS, beginning as an Alyeska Project Engineer during the construction era from late 1974 through the end of 1977. He worked out of Fairbanks and Glennallen before finishing up the construction effort as Assistant Project Manager reporting directly to Frank Moolin out of Galbraith Lake. In mid-1977, he was appointed to the position of Northern District Superintendent working out of PS 1 during oil-in and startup.
After Alyeska, he joined Frank Moolin and Associates, then was general manager of Anchorage's Management Analysis Company before ultimately becoming a partner in Hawk Consultants, LLC, where he current works. Management Analysis Company and Hawk Consultants have provided professional staffing services to Alyeska, and other oil companies, for the past 35 years.