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Kenai Conversation

Kenai Conversation: John Williams on 65 years of Alaska oil and gas


This year marks 65 years since Alaska’s oil and gas industry got its start. The Swanson River Field, on the northern part of the Kenai Peninsula, was discovered in July 1957 — establishing Kenai as the oil capital of Alaska and setting the then-territory on its road to statehood.

The industry, and Kenai, look very different today.

John Williams joined us to talk about those changes and the history of oil and gas in Cook Inlet, including his own experiences during the initial boom and, later, the Exonn-Valdez Oil Spill.

Williams is a former mayor of both the City of Kenai and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. He supervised the installation of the Tesoro refinery in the 1960s and is now on the board of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC), established in the wake of Exonn-Valdez.

Jan. 5, 2022 Kenai Conversation pt. 2

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