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Curtis Blount passed away Sunday, May 12. Curtis was living in Houston, where he was a Senior Fellow, Global Wells Technology for ConocoPhillips. He is survived by his wife Shari, his children Chris, Trevor and Sarah and his grandchildren. His obituary can be read here.
Frank Bergren was with Curtis the day he passed away. "Curtis was a close friend since 1980 when we were Electrical Engineering lab partners at UAA. We worked together on projects at Prudhoe and ended up living in the same neighborhood in Katy decades later," said Frank.
"My wife, Sharon, and I were on our 2 mile morning walk this morning when we met Curtis and his dog Cooper. Curtis and Cooper joined us and we walked the remaining mile back to our house and then went to our patio to have a cup of coffee. When I came out with the coffee, I saw that Curtis was obviously in trouble, not moving and unresponsive. I felt for a pulse and could not detect one, so I picked him up out of the chair and laid him on the patio and started CPR. I shouted for Sharon to call 911 and kept doing CPR until the paramedics arrived 10 or 15 minutes later. Shari, Trevor, Sarah and Cliff and Cathy Crabtree joined us at the hospital, where the staff worked on Curtis for about an hour. The doctor then came out and told us that they never revived his pulse," said Frank.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Shari, and the rest of Curtis’ family. They will certainly miss Curtis as will all of his friends in the oil patch. The world is a different place without Curtis stirring things up. He was an incredibly talented individual and a good man," shared Frank.
The world is a different place without Curtis stirring things up. - Frank Bergren, ARCO 1983-1998
Curtis specialized in advancing technology applied in challenging and harsh environments. He was active in CT and well intervention research and applied technology development for more than 25 years and worked in the industry for 40 years. He coauthored more than 30 technical papers, holds over 20 patents and actively participated on numerous SPE committees. Curtis active participated on numerous SPE committees. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on CT Drilling technology for 2002-2003, SPE Alaska chapter’s Engineer of the Year for 2003, and was SPE’s Drilling and Completion award recipient for 2007.
Mike Haas shares that when he arrived in Anchorage in 1979, he met Curtis during the perforation and testing of the Drill Site 6 wells to raise the field rate from 1.2 to 1.5 MMBOPD. There were two Dresser Atlas polar prowlers on the drill site leap frogging from well to well. "Curtis was this skinny young completion engineer with braces," remembers Mike. "He never slept and was like the Energizer bunny, just running 24 hours a day while I caught cat naps sleeping in the truck. I will never forget those days and how he was so full of energy and zest for life. I understand why his career was so successful because of that great attitude," said Mike. Mike was fortunate to catch up with Curtis a couple years ago when Curtis was in Dharain. "I was lucky to see him again and reminisce about the old days," said Mike.
Curtis was like the Energizer bunny, running 24 hours a day... - Mike Haas, ARCO 1974-1994
Denise Ganopole worked with Curtis before he transferred to Houston. "It was a privilege and delight to work with Curtis. A very smart and dedicated man, with a great sense of humor. I could never walk away from an encounter without a smile on my face," said Denise.
Michael Mooney shares that he and Curtis met when Michael was fresh out of college as a roustabout in 1983 and Curtis was a Wireline Supervisor. “He loved to tell the story of our first time working together in Prudhoe,” shared Michael. “On my first job, he told me to go up on the wellhead tree and close a valve, so I scrambled up and turned it the wrong way – “hey kid, righty tighty, lefty loosey” he laughingly yelled which kept him off my BFF list that day. After some time, I began to recognize that this guy was really smart, and I was going to learn from him. We ended up working together over the years and that close work relationship turned into a great friendship.”
At work, Michael recalls that Curt was often the go-to guy for the big challenges and well/downhole knowledge. He always amazed Michael with his impact and dedication to the industry. “Everywhere we traveled he was a super star with his unique presentations, his story telling, generosity and natural talent at keeping all entertained,” remembers Michael.
“Reflecting back over the past 36 years, we did a lot together such as rock-climbing classes, multiple water ski camps in Washington, camping, fishing, white water rafting (Curt went swimming that day), hiking, global work travels and endless days water skiing on Wasilla Lake. Some days we would just hang out and try to solve the world’s problems. We were very compatible at golfing and both agreed once was enough.
Known as Uncle Curt to my boys, our families were close and watched each other’s kids grow up. We had many excellent meals and fun times at Curt and Shari’s homes in Alaska and Texas. There might have been a few times that Shari had to put up with shenanigans from Curt and myself.
I always told Curt he knew how to live each day to the fullest extent. He will be sorely missed by many people and certainly our family,” said Michael.
Michael 'Mick' Kraly, said "This is a sad, sad day with wonderful memories of Curtis back in Prudhoe when I was a roustabout and he was the Wireline Supervisor. I cannot think of a time when Curtis didn’t have a smile on his face. He loved what he was doing. It makes us all thankful for each day we have to enjoy life!" said Mick.
There has been considerable activity on the ARCO Alumni site in the past few weeks. In addition to more than 65 members and spouses attending the Dallas happy hour, we are pleased to welcome a number of new members including Dustin Fife, Tony Slovak, Anand Marphatia, Connie Perdue, Debra Serrano and Mary Jo Kimball. Log on and click Members>List Members to scroll through the most recent updates.
Pictured are Charlene and in the back Randy Brush, President, William Cobb and Associates; and in front Tom with Hunt Consolidated and Nancy Schmitt who is consulting, and Steve and Betty Suellentrop. Steve is Chairman of Hunt Oil.
Other updates include Terry Palisch who is at Carbo Ceramics. He frequently visitst Stanford University to watch his son Jacob play baseball for the University team. Terry recently caught up with Joe Sinner at another Stanford Baseball Game.
Dustin Fife is working for WestSide Corporation and living with his wife and 6 of seven children in Brisbane, Australia.
Tony Slovak retired from 43 years in the IT industry, 20 of them with ARCO. He shares that he had a great career run - "the fondest of my memories stem from the time I spent at ARCO first in Dallas and then in Indonesia, Houston and the Netherlands. I always look forward to meeting ex colleagues and sharing memories."
Connie and husband Brad Perdue met at ARCO. Brad worked in S&P and that's where he and Connie met. "Brad and I moved to Austin from Dallas in 1985. I retired in 2018 after working at a local CPA firm for 18 years as a Tax Manager. We love to travel and are involved in many activities in Austin," said Connie. Debra is at Atmos Energy in the finance department where she has a temp postition. Mary Jo is retired and living in Plano.
Helene Harding retired from ConocoPhillips in April. Her final position was VP, Great Plains Business Unit.
David and Larissa Williamson were both at ARCO and are living in the DFW metroplex. David is with Monadnock, a Permian pure player.
Stan Caldwell is consulting in Dallas. Benjamin Johnson runs his company Summit Resource Management out of Dallas. He and John Martinek were both at ARCO and formed Summit in 1993. Benjamin was working in Alaska and missed the Dallas happy hour. Another Dallas area consultant is Ron Nolan.
Working for XTO are Robert Layfield, who transitioned to a new position with XTO in Williston, North Dakota, and Robert Manthei. Robert joined XTO in Fort Worth in 2007. He plans to retire from XTO/ExxonMobil in April of 2022 with 15 years.
Douglas Moore relocated with Carboline Company from Texas to St Louis, Missouri. He is Global Product Line Director.
Phil and Dianne Lowry are living in Naples, Florida. Phil said he remembers when they moved back to Dallas after Jakarta and thought they would be in Dallas for 4-5 years. "Well 20 years later we finally made the move," said Phil. "We really enjoy all that Naples has to offer and have several friends who live there. Our plans are to spend the summers at our house in Massachusetts and then escape south before it gets ugly."
Kevin Brosi also retired and moved from Dallas to Florida.
Paula Harris retired from ConocoPhillips in 2016 and is living in Phoenix, Arizona.
Sheila and TJ Barnes are retired and will split their time between Anchorage and Arizona. John Dengler and Thomas Austin joined the community to share that they are retired and living in Anchorage and Eagle River respectively. Thomas is available for consulting opportunities. Also in Anchorage and working for ConocoPhillips is Scott Fahrney.
We are saddened to share that Curtis Blount passed away Sunday, May 12, 2019.
Curtis was living in Houston, where he was a Senior Fellow, Global Wells Technology for ConocoPhillips. He is survived by his wife Shari, his children, Chris, Trevor, and Sarah and his grandchildren.
Services are planned for Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Service begins at 12:30 with no visitation before
Schmidt Funeral home:
1344 W. Grand Parkway South
Katy TX 77494
After will be a celebration of life event at Agave Estates from 2 to 7pm with Drinks and appetizers.
1138 FM 1463
Katy, Texas 77494
Here is the obituary
Talking about how high oil prices will go...
We were pleased to see some new faces at our Denver ARCO Alumni networking event. This included Jason Billings, Whiting Oil and Gas; Tom Gardner and Tommy Nations. Tommy is an artificial lift consultant, and at 70, shows that our ARCO alums are still actively supporting the industry. Larry Parnell relocated to Denver and is COO for Beacon E&P, and Greg and Suzanne Ernster are also living in Denver now and joined the group straight from a Rockies winning game.
Liberty Resources had a full contingent of ARCO Alumni in attendance including Mark and Maria Pearson, Gordon Pospisil, Stacy Strickland and Larry Griffin.
It was 20 years ago that the acquisition was announced.
ARCO talent is powering a number of small operators in Denver. Cynthia and Steve Enger, Edge Energy; Bill O'Brien with Nitec; Tom Tracey, BTA Oil Producers and Jay Stratton, Ultra Petroleum. Herb Vogel and Watty Strickland are both still with SM Energy. Scott Wilson is at Ryder Scott and Chris Garlasco continues consulting for PRA, enjoying her ability to work remotely and travel to Anchorage occassionally. Our retirees in attendance included Ben Ball, Ann Hippe, Joseph and Mary Beth Falcone, Becky Watson and Clyde Borden.
In addition to adding our talents to the industry, Herb Vogel is on the Engineering Advisory Council for CU Boulder and Bill O'Brien spends three hours a week teaching money management and life skills classes at the Samaritan House Homeless Shelter. Gordon Pospisil is joining Bill in this volunteer activity that directly helps the most vulnerable people in Denver.
Each summer, the Liberty Resources team travel to Tioga, North Dakota for a Community Appreciation BBQ and public tours of their facilities/operations. Larry Griffin, Mike Ellis, Gordon Pospisil, Mark Pearson and Stacy Strickland all worked in the Kuparuk Business Unit together in the early-90’s. The younger generation was also represented by Mark and Maria Pearson's daughter and son. Talking about children, both Tom Tracey and Herb Vogel have sons working at Chevron. Carol Baker's daughter works at Entero. Stacy and Watty Strickland's daughter is working at Ballard Petroleum.
Following the 7.0 earthquake in Anchorage November 30, and the 1,800 aftershocks in the following days, our members in Anchorage, Homer and Valdez shared their experiences.
With 166 members living in Alaska, 142 in Anchorage and the others everywhere from Eagle River and Wasilla to Homer and Juneau, here are some of the stories.
Robin Child perhaps captured best what so many of you shared when she emailed: “The best thing was hearing from family, friends and neighbors. Everyone checking to make sure all was okay and offers of help. Even the Costco pharmacy gal asked how we had fared; it’s a bond of a community. Strangers finding a commonality and helping each other by being a bit more friendly. We are at our best when we all give a little, even if it’s just a smile and a shared story,” said Robin.
"My panic," said Kathleen Gray, "is that I was here in the 1964 earthquake (age 11) so my flashback meter is over the top. The continuing aftershocks just keep me on edge, but 'I will survive'," she said.
My panic is that I was here in the 1964 earthquake so my flashback meter is over the top
"Broken trinkets are sad," emailed Delia Brown, "but to not have any loss of life is nothing short of a miracle." The best invention says Delia is "the flashlight on our cell phones and cell chargers!"
To not have any loss of life is nothing short of a miracle
In addition to comments about the community coming together and gratefulness there was no loss of life, there has been a lot of humor. Whether talking about ‘drinks being served’ or ‘rockin and rollin’, the quake was met with equanimity.
“I was driving, so it wasn’t super exciting,” shared Susan Jakonis. “My car shook like crazy & I pulled over. The aftershocks were horrible for the first few days. I wonder how many people outside of Alaska know it was pitch dark when it happened and for over an hour?”
As of December 9 the city was still having aftershocks. Scott Digert said they had 5 Sunday morning, December 9, and poor Rosie their Retriever has been a bit traumatized. Tina and Gerry Suellentrop and Scott and Barbara Digert commented on how sound structural construction meant good news for many.
“After a total of almost 24 years in Alaska and 4 years in LA, this was certainly the biggest quake we’ve been in,” said Scott. “At BP we had a lot of equipment knocked over, ceiling tiles and lights down, and some minor structural damage with wall cracks and broken pipes, but the building stayed well within design specs. We got everyone evacuated ok and then closed the building for the past week to allow the crews to do repairs without people underfoot, and also to let parents work from home while their kids were out with all the schools also closed. Most of us go back to school and work on Monday, and people will have lots of stories to tell! Our home came through just fine; we had books knocked off shelves and plants toppled over, but remarkably little breakage. All of the Anchorage building codes and inspections that made our builder swear when we built the house in 2000 worked as needed, and we feel very fortunate.”
Scott also said there was a lot of infrastructure damage in the Anchorage bowl. “Road crews swung straight into action and had temporary paved repairs in place within 72 hours, which is particularly remarkable given that all the asphalt plants had been shut down for the winter, and they’ve never laid asphalt this late in the year,” he said. “If we’re going to be in a big quake there’s no community better prepared for it than Anchorage,” believes Scott.
If we're going to be in a big quake there's no community better prepared for it than Anchorage
Adriana Contreras seconded Delia Brown, saying “everyone alive and well and very happy. More importantly than broken knick knacks -- THANK YOU for simply checking in,” she said.
Micky Becker shares that she climbed under the kitchen counter and rode it out. She said it was terrifying, and seemed to last forever. Micky also mentioned that strict earthquake building codes saved Anchorage and prevented loss of life.
Robin Childs said she thought they had faired extremely well until she investigated the top floor. “It was shocking at first but a few days later, with the help of my children, we had everything back in order. My children helped to put all of our bathroom and dresser mirrors up with new stronger anchors. We also added a top hold on tall dressers. It was a good reminder along with an opportunity to clean out old clothes from the back of the drawers,” she concluded.
Rob Endebrok returned from Thailand to find minor things knocked off the shelves and a couple doors needing adjusting.
Denis Allen lives in Valdez and said when the earthquake first started it was swaying which intensified gradually. Bottles and glasses started moving, the weights in a wall clock started banging the glass sides of the clock case.
Jack and Cindy Walker reported there were no gas leaks, no water leaks, no power loss, no broken windows, and no apparent structural damage in Stuckagain - they felt pretty lucky. In addition to broken items and minor cracks in dry wall, the well water had a brownish tint, but cleared up after a day or two. They also said there was no road damage in their area. Best of all? “Less than one full dump run!”
Chip Landmesser says "we were rockin' and rollin' pretty good down here in Homer too. We are all doing fine and no significant property damage." Chip said his family living in Eagle River faces cleanup and repairs in the weeks ahead, but what is important is everyone is ok.
We were rockin and rollin pretty good down here in Homer too
Dave Marquez moved from Anchorage to Juneau a couple of years ago, and has a daughter and her family and many friends in Anchorage. He also felt blessed there were no fatalities with an earthquake of this magnitude.
You can read more at https://www.adn.com/