Houston 2022

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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.


Let's Get Together on Wednesday, April 26 from 5-7:30pm at Fratelli's.

To learn more, and to RSVP, log on and click on Events.


Thank you to our sponsors for making this gathering possible:


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 and 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.

Career Updates

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.

If you were at the happy hour on July 21 at O'Malley's, you know we enjoyed a great time and record turnout. Log on to see all of the pictures.

John and Kristina Hentges retired and have stayed in Anchorage. Both of their adult children are working in the industry in Anchorage. Life is good! Frank and Anca Paskvan are enjoying summer and camping on the weekends; the Digers were unable to make it as they were away camping. Mark and Gina Ireland also are blessed to have their children - and grandchild - living and working in Anchorage.

Louise Osborn, Kirk Barker and Russ Bone were in town from Colorado, Washington and Oklahoma respectively.After 19 years working for ARCO in Plano, primarily supporting Alaska gas injection projects, Russ Bone went to work for Phillips 66 (now ConocoPhillips) at their research labs in Bartlesville. Russ is mentoring the next generation at COP, especially about PVT and gas injection.  As luck would have it, he was teaching an EOR school at the same time as the Anchorage alumni event. Russ enjoyed seeing some familiar faces.

Ken and Pat Thompson, Russ Doig, Linda Petrie, James and Sandi Posey, Chip and Georganna Derrick, and Paula Harris were some of the many guests at the Anchorage Networking Happy Hour Thursday, July 21. Santos was represented by Bruce Dingeman and Mark Ireland; COP employees included Emily Arrowsmith, Jed Chamberlain, Barbara and Mike Hurley, Eric Pierson, and our sponsor PRA was represented by Tom and Chantal Walsh and Patricia Lobel. Ken and Pat Thompson also attended and cosponsored the happy hour.

Energy companies represented included Alyeska Pipeline, COP Alaska, Hawk Consulting, Hilcorp Energy, Kakivik, PRA, Santos,and individuals who transitioned from the energy industry to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas, Alaska School District, Double Shovel Cider Company, GCI, and those energy industry employees who are now retired and were in town to join the fun. 

A special thank you to our sponsors, Advancial, ACS, Pacific Star Energy and PRA who made this event possible.

Amanda from Advancial, Susie Holly, Becky Stoabs, Kathy Gray and Katie Parmelee were essential in helping pull apart the adhesives from the very challenging name tags and welcoming the crowd to our event. It was our pleasure to include Shelly from the Food Bank of Alaska. Thank you to everyone who made a donation. Shelly was grateful not to have to carry a heavy load of canned goods back to their new location. If you want to make a donation, or volunteer, visit their website.


Great event, once again, and the turnout was tremendous! - Tom Walsh, President, PRA, event sponsor
Great seeing everyone and a great happy hour! I always enjoy seeing the photos from the happy hour - Ken Thompson, Pacific Star Energy, event sponsor