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Jonny Rau, Commodore Offshore; Jim Sikes, Hilcorp Energy and our Facebook administrator, Cindy Stowell, EOG Resources are regulars at the Houston happy hours. This year, Vicki Watson Rau, Magna Oil and Gas, and who was with ARCO accounting from 1990 to 2000, grew our attendance with her outreach to fellow accounting friends and colleagues. New attendees included Marissa Rombado, ARCO 1990-1998 and her husband Gabriel who is with ExxonMobil, Phuong and Jeff Schaeffer; John Plenger, Lane Rees, and othrs.
A special thank you to our sponsors, Advancial and Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA). Pictured, Julie Hardegree, Advancial, presents one of the door prizes to Vicky Watson Rau. Irwin Chou, BP Gulf of Mexico, Jim Sikes, Hilcorp Energy, Cindy Stowell, EOG Resources, and Walt Bozeman also won door prizes.
It was a great evening of delicious Italian ravioli, meatballs, bruchetta and pizza, beverages and a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues. The swag on the tables was a mix of eclectic items from measuring cups and first aid kits to collapsible bowls and pocket mirrors. All the swag was gone by the end of the evening.
I had so much fun at the happy hour. I don’t know what took me so long to attend one
- Vicki Watson Rau
"I had so much fun at the ARCO Alum Happy Hour," said Vicki Watson Rau. "I don’t know what took me so long to attend one, but reaching out to previous co-workers and seeing if they wanted to attend (which most of them immediately said YES) turned out to be so worth it. Most of these accountants did not know anything about the Advancial hosted happy hour events."
Thank you very much for allowing me to “Win” the goodie basket. Since it was a BBQ themed basket, I had several accountants asking me when was the BBQ gonna be at my house!!! ( The majority of the Arco Accountants were always witty and had a great sense of humor)! We were a fun group and not your stereo-typed boring bean counters!!!!
Danny McRae and his wife Angela had a great time seeing some old friends whom they haven't seen in many years.
I had a great time seeing old friends whom I haven't seen in many years- Danny McRae
"I am working at Cathexis, a private company, in corporate tax compliance, but retirement is in the the sights," shared Danny.
I've since found the AOGA website is a great resource for Alaska oil and gas news...and jobs - Scott Tinkham
In addition to the accounting presence, we all have a strong Alaska contingent and this year Kara Moriarty, AOGA President and CEO attended the networking happy hour and shared updates on the industry, including some of the investment challenges faced by companies including Benjy Johnson and others finding that investments are difficult to obtain due to companies shying away from the energy industry. Following Kara's talk, there were a number of questions from those in the audience. Learn more about AOGA, its work, employment opportunities and its members.
There is also always the international ARCO presence and we all talked about how the Plano facility was demolished. ARCO Alum Norm Nadorff and his wife Claudia were dressed in their ARCO shirts, Norm's from the ARCO Indonesia men's league night softball team circa 1994. "We primarily played teams from other oil companies and service companies. I played second base and short centerfield. My main recollection was one of my teammates who was such a strong right-handed pull hitter that the opposing third baseman and shortstop would literally move into the near outfield due to the blistering velocity of his line drives. I also remember pulling a hamstring muscle in my right leg while rounding third base. Until then I had no idea as to just how painful that is."
Determination and grit define the Alaska energy industry
It was great hearing from AOGA's Kara Moriarty about the Willow and Pikka development projects
We are sorry to share that the following ARCO Alumni have passed away.
Robert Stephen Molina - December 3, 1947 - April 2, 2023
Bill Keffer shared that Steve was his former boss in the Dallas Legal Department. "Steve was a big personality and an important person in my career," said Bill.
Delores (Dee) Hinkle - May 31, 1953 - March 14, 2023
During her 38-year oil industry career, Dee worked in various production and reservoir positions for Sun, ARCO and Marathon in Oklahoma, Alaska, Wyoming, and Texas. She retired in 2013 as Marathon Oil’s Director of Corporate Reserves.
Dee was active in the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) during her career and retirement. She was Chair of the SPE’s Oil and Gas Reserves Committee, participated in the development of SPE’s Petroleum Resource Management System, served as the Bureau Vice Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Ad Hoc Group of Experts, and was a Technical Editor for the Oil and Gas Journal. She received SPE’s Gulf Coast Section Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award and was awarded SPE’s Distinguished Member Award at the Amsterdam Convention.
Allan L. Comstock passed away March 1, 2023, at his lakeside home (Westlake Village, CA), after his long battle with cancer. At the end of his 79 fulfilling years, Allan was surrounded by the ones he loved. Allan's professional career began and ended with ARCO. In a career spanning over 30 years, Allan moved through the ranks of ARCO to become the Vice President and Controller.
John K. Deavenport passed away on July 17, 2022 after surviving 14 years with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. John worked for ARCO from 1976, enjoying his time in Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay, and transitioned to BP in Houston and retired in 2008. Read his obituary
Members updated their profiles and pictures including Tony Webb, Catherine Weidenfeller, Charles Smith, Rosana van der Grinten, Norman Nadorff and Lisa Nash Houston.
Many of those people who purchased leases became millionairs, and as they say, 'The fight for Prudhoe Bay was on' - Kathy Harte
Kathy Harte worked for ARCO in Anchorage for 25+ years, and shares it was the best job she ever had. “My Maternal family is from Alaska, and we've had many, many fascinating opportunities while living there,” said Kathy. “For example, my Maternal Grandfather (William T. Foran ) was a Geological / Petroleum Genius, and while working for the U.S. Navy at Prudhoe Bay, he realized that most of that entire area was literally a gigantic source of Petroleum products, mainly Oil and Gas. People laughed at him and called him an idiot. However, people who were smart enough to believe him, quietly started purchasing leasing rights on properties that "see " like they might have some amount of petroleum (Oil and Gas). Many of those people who purchased the leases became millionaires, and as they say, "The Fight for Prudhoe Bay was on!"”
Michael Lestenkof worked for Jim Weeks for seven years, at both Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields. Michael wrote three essays on arctic construction and Jim Weeks submitted them to the patent attorneys. One is currently owned by COP. Google Michael Lestenkof Jr. to find the patent on building pipelines on the tundra without use of piling. In 1988 ARCO International sent Michael Lestenkof to Indonesia for five years as a construction manager on ARCO Bali North, an offshore gas project. “We built our shore facilities on a small coral island 100 miles north of Bali. The project team under Project Manager Richard Murtland spent six months in Perth, Australia during the design stage. As a native Alaskan from a tiny remote island in the Bering Sea, St. George Island, going from the Arctic to the equator was an amazing experience.”
As a native Alaskan, going from the Arctic to the equator was an amazing experience - Michael Lestenkof
Daniel Schafer left Alaska six years ago, worked for BP in London and Baku and is now retired and lives between Yorkshire in the U.K. and Florida
Emily Arrowsmith retired from COP in Anchorage after 20 plus years in the industry.
Bryan Wilks worked for ARCO in East Texas fracking wells in Carthage. He trained at the Plano Facility.
Eduard Apaisse shared a photo circa 1982 when I was working offshore at Xray Alpha platform, Arco North West Java.
Congratulations to Med Kamal and Terry Palisch, the 2023 and 2024 SPE Presidents, respectively.
Med Kamal worked at ARCO in Plano for AEPT from 1988 until 2000 when the company was sold to BP. At that time I joined Chevron Technology Company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chevron tranferred me to Houston at the beginning of 2014. I am now an Emeritus Chevron Fellow after retiring in 2017 and returning to the Bay Area. One of the main taks of Chevron Fellows is developing the next generation of technical leaders. I finished serving on the Board of SPE International as the Regional Director for Western North America (2007-2009). My SPE Monograph on Transient Well Testing was published in November 2009 and is available through SPE.org and Amazon.com. I am an Honorary Member of SPE and was recently elected as the 2023 SPE President.
Terry is vice president of technology and engineering at CARBO Ceramics in Richardson, Texas. Terry began his career with ARCO in 1986 and then joined CARBO in 2004. In 2001, Terry Palisch was named the SPE Dallas Section Engineer of the Year, followed by Distinguished Service & Membership in 2017. A University of Missouri-Rolla grad, he was recently honored as a Distinguished Alumnus has authored more than 50 SPE technical papers and holds several patents.
"I'm humbled to have been nominated as 2024 SPE President," said Terry. "SPE has done so much for me and my career. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to implement the new Strategic Plan and take the Society forward.”
Terry joins Marvin Katz (1980), Janeen Judah (2017) and Med Kamel (2023 – current) as ARCO Alumni who have served as SPE President.
A special thank you to ACS, Advancial, Liberty Resources, Ryder Scott and our legacy leaders, Bill O’Brien, Steve Enger, Herb Vogel, and Scott Wilson for sponsoring the event.
We had a number of couples at the happy hour including Scott and Mary Wilson. We were thrilled they joined us on the day they were celebrating 36 years of marriage. Bob Schutzius had celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary earlier in the summer. Congratulations!
Others attending included Steve and Cynthia Enger, Mark and Maria Pearson and their daughter Victoria, Tracy and Joe Sinner, Stacy and Watty Strickland, Deidre and Paul Taylor, Herb and Karen Vogel, Becky Watson and Clay Borden, Tom and Jewel Wellborn and Cathy and Mike Clonts. Steve and Cynthia Enger are retired and busy traveling after they relocated from Denver to Golden.
Herb Vogel joined SM Energy in Denver in 2019 and assumed the role of President and CEO in November 2020. Herb continues to scale 14ers with his son and nephew in his spare time.
Scott Wilson is a Partner at Ryder Scott where he specializes in reserves evaluations, artificial lift optimization and supporting clients as they maximize the value of their fields. Scott continues to ski, organize 'the guys annual ski trip', kayak and create new inventions and yard art.
Joanne Cech and Bob Schutzius drove from Fort Collins where Joanne is working for the City as a Program Evaluation Senior Analyst. Bob shared that he celebrated 40 years of marriage this year and chaired his high school’s 45th class reunion.
Sam French joined BKV Corporation in February 2021 after fifteen years with BP. Sam is the VP of Engineering overseeing reservoir engineering, production engineering and completion stimulation design for Barnett and Marcellus shale assets.
Tom Walker joined Occidental in Denver in November, 2018 and is the Chief Production Engineer responsible for keeping thousands of wells running and testing new technologies.
New members Kim Pentoyer, Rebecca Rice and Jewel and Tom Wellborn were at the happy hour courtesy of Tom Linn who promoted the happy hour to the ARCO Coal alumni. Rebecca is with Kinross Gold USA and was with ARCO Coal from 1981 to 1988. Tom continues to dabble in consulting, and decided to attend the happy hour when he saw the pictures from the Anchorage event. Jewel is working for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development. Tom Linn was unable to attend as he was caring for his wife who had knee surgery.
Joe Sinner retired in 2022, and has yet to decide whether he will consult or continue to enjoy golf, hiking and many other activities keeping him busy. He and Tracy are also busy travelling for weddings and family.
George Fenati shared that he and Watty Strickland are volunteering with Healing Waters International. The organization builds compact water treatment systems that bring safe drinking water to at-risk communities, mainly in Central America and Africa. “Our tasks mainly involve assembling, labeling, and packaging the units for delivery to their final destination,” said George. “ There, a local distributor sets up commercial terms and training for the purification units with needy communities for radically affordable drinking water. The commercial terms significantly improve the likelihood that the units will be functionally maintained and not forgotten in a back corner of a warehouse at the first sign of operational issues.”
Watty arrived back from Anchorage the day before the happy hour. He and Stacy were in Anchorage celebrating a nephew's wedding and visiting friends. Watty drove his daughter's trailer back to Denver with Doug Swenson, stopping to fish along the way.
In other News
Victoria Pearson enjoyed creating some artwork which we used to display the Advancial giveaways!
Louise Osborn holds the distinction of being the only other person than Cathy Clonts who was at the Anchorage and the Denver gatherings.
We were sorry to miss the following individuals. Greg Ernster was in Alaska on vacation, Kelli Nadon was packing for a move from Denver to Anchorage, Gordon Pospisil was on vacation in India, Connie and Winston Shero could not attend and Win said “It would have been nice to catch up with Mike (Clonts) since we worked together on the REB subsurface team in Plano”. Melanie Wstergaard was traveling in France for six weeks.