Head of Alyeska pipeline steps down

The head of the pipeline company that moves most of Alaska’s crude oil to market is stepping down.

Brigham McCown has left Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. as company president, a spokeswoman for the company said in an email on Monday. The spokeswoman did not provide a reason for the change in leadership.

The company declined to provide more information about McCown’s departure, including whether he had given the company notice.

“No additional details will be shared as it is a personnel matter,” Michelle Egan with Alyeska said in the email.

McCown could not be reached for comment.

Danika Yeager, Alyeska’s vice president of operations, will serve as interim president.

McCown had served in the post for two years. Among his other previous roles, McCown was named the first deputy administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in 2005 under President George W. Bush. The federal agency oversees pipeline infrastructure in the U.S.

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Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. is owned by affiliates of Alaska’s major oil producers on the North Slope — Hilcorp Alaska, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. Alyeska operates the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline system, which shipped 475,000 barrels of oil daily last year from the North Slope to Valdez for marine shipment.

Alyeska employs more than 700 people, and hires hundreds of contractors to work on the pipeline and related services.

“Alyeska and the TAPS owners want to thank (McCown) for his two years of leading Alyeska and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Egan’s email said.

Yeager “brings decades of midstream leadership to the role,” Egan said.

Yeager’s experience includes operations, health, safety and the environment, regulatory compliance, and commercial and joint venture owner relations, according to the company.

“The continued safe and reliable operation of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is Alyeska’s top priority,” Egan’s email said. “Alyeska and the TAPS owners have confidence that Ms. Yeager will effectively guide the organization forward as we work towards a permanent appointment.”

The Alaska Landmine first reported the change of leadership Monday in a social media post, sharing an email sent to employees.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or