With 38 of our members sharing that they live in the UK, we wanted to see how many were with ARCO British Limited during their career and who ended up in the UK with other companies. Below we share some updates, and hope you will be inspired to log on and update what you are doing, and where you are living.
No surprise that a number of our members are employed by BP, including John Brame who is with BP Finance in London. John was last employed by AIOGC (ARCO Intl Oil and Gas Co.) in Indonesia immediately prior to joining BP. Subsequent to the acquisition of ARCO, John worked for BP in Indonesia, the UK, Egypt, Moscow and then back to the UK about 3 years ago. He tells us: “The great people in ARCO and the many friends from that time that I still keep in close contact with is what I will always remember.”
Ian Pigram shared that BP has gone through a period of “simplification” in the UK. Ian is in exploration where he moved after working the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan. “Since moving from ARCO British to BP, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of projects ranging from development to exploration, many with some enjoyably challenging technical aspects,” says Ian.
The technical capabiity of the folks here made multidisciplinary projects a superb learning experience.
Kate Mitchell logged on and shared that she has worked in BP’s Exploration group up until this summer and is based in Aberdeenshire. “After a couple of good years in Norway working on the mighty Valhall field 4D we thought we would try Scotland for a change. Prior to that I was in BP Exploration in Sunbury, UK, within the rock properties and seismic modelling team. We now have 2 small boys to keep John and I out of mischief. My hobbies include walking/ mountaineering/ mountain biking/ surfing and a bit of skiing...and getting the boys into that as well,” said Kate.
Mark O’Connor is working with BP in Sunbury looking after the Angola Region as the Process Safety Technical Authority as part of Safety and Operational Risk organisation. In his role, Mark works alongside the business to provide advice and scrutiny. Mark married in 2013; he and his wife Elizabeth enjoy exploring in their VW Campervan.
Of course, some of our members are working in the UK for other companies.
Mahmoud Manji lives in London and works for Exxon Mobil in commercial and business development. Mahmoud worked for BP prior to moving over to Exxon Mobil.
Matt Carolan joined Challenge Energy technical and commercial advisors in 2004 as Business Development Manager. Matt is based in Guildford.
I'm greatful for the time I spent at ARCO. It was a great place to work and I met my parnter, Steve Chastell, there. We are still together after 20 years!
Marie Jarvie tells us about her life after ARCO: “I worked for KBR, looking after the Finance function in ten of their worldwide offices. I visited to a lot of lovely places including Australia, Russia, Sweden, Azerbaijan and of course Houston! But, tiring of so much travel, I made my next move away from a 'Big American Company' to a small British one. I am now Finance Director at g3baxi partnership limited. It's an oil & gas consultancy company and is employee owned (a bit like John Lewis) so all the employees are highly motivated and it's like working in one big happy family."
Since leaving ARCO, Laurence Jackson had three foreign assignments with AGIP/ENI. The first was in Nigeria, the second was in Angola and the last posting was in Iraq. His time with AGIP/ENI left Laurie with an appreciation of Italian culture, a taste for their wine, a basic knowledge of the language, and a house in Italy. With the downturn in the oil industry, Laurie is currently working for a computer consultancy in Southern England.
Looking for a new opportunity
Many former ARCO and Vastar employees have had long, interesting careers and with the downturn, they remain interested in employment. John Davies is one of these people. Others who are interested in employment are indicating their availability using the ARCO search where you can search for people who are available.
John worked exploration, operations and formation evaluation with ARCO, joined Triton in 2000 to coordinate their appraisal operations of Ceiba and discoveries of Oveng, Okume, Elon and Ebano. When that drilling campaign was completed, John joined Nexen in Dallas to plan and coordinate geologic well operations and reservoir evaluation. When Nexen’s drilling program slowed, John became Exploration Team Lead for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. John and his counterpart at Shell managed to convince their managements to firmly commit to a three well program in 2009. Three prior multi well drilling programs were abandoned after disappointing results on the first well. The first 2009 well, Antietam, an appraisal to the marginal Shiloh discovery, was dry. Luckily the commitment to continue the program led to the Appomattox discovery. John left Nexen during their re-organization and purchase by CNOOC. He joined ENI in Houston to continue focusing on exploration of the Pre-Miocene of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. John moved to the London to join Pam Morelos-Roths (ARCO Plano and Vastar) at New Age to work West Africa and Kurdistan projects. Due to the downturn, John is currently living outside of London and looking for new petroleum geologist positions. In his free time John meets other artists exploring museums, studios and galleries. John also enjoys walks in the Surrey Hills and on the Coast. John can be contacted at email@example.com
Back in the Good ‘Ol USA
While working at ARCO, Bryon McGregor was project finance manager (’98-’01). After leaving ARCO after the BP merger, Bryon joined E*TRADE in various positions, including Assistant Treasurer, Brokerage Treasurer and finally two years as International Treasurer in London. Shortly after those two years ended, he made the move back to the US.
Rob O’Connor worked in the Sunbury office with BP managing the Black Sea Exploration project until 2010 when he moved to Houston where he is currently BP's Canada Exploration Manager.
Yohan Johan Kusumanegara was with ARCO from 1994-1999 and then worked for Total in the UK. He is currently in Houston working for Hess and is also available for consulting.
Chris Worthington talks of keeping in touch with ARCO colleagues. Chris worked on the transfer of ARCO interests to BP, Tullow and ExxonMobil as a member of the Red Square team. He transitioned to Project Consultant advising ExxonMobil management on their Joint Venture (50/50 Shell/ExxonMobil) European projects in the North Sea, the Netherlands and Germany. Chris worked alongside Mahmoud Manji and Paul Hector who took up commercial roles within the JV team until he retired in 2009.
Chris is busy enjoying his 4 grandchildren develop into amazing people. He is also vice chair of the Wooburn Festival, enjoys mountain biking in the Chilterns (300-400 miles a month), travelling and pursuing many other activities and interests. Chris tells us he will still stay in touch with a few ARCO friends, two already mentioned and Martin Thurlow, John Knepler and Andy Humphreys to mention a few more. He tells us “John Knepler keeps me abreast of mutual friends and colleagues from the other side of the Atlantic.”
And Stephen Giles tells us: “Thanks to the clarity of strategic vision of BP in the late 90s in being very efficient in its string of acquisitions and subsequent integrations (aka redundancies), the decision to strike out on my own was an easy one. The long-term financials were neutral whether I stayed or went, and the non-corporate world was a more appetising challenge. After a couple of years as a fully engaged contractor, much of it outside the upstream business but using skills developed within it, I returned to the upstream world to build and lead an upstream division of a European utility. Then I moved on to the Middle East to work for UAE-owned energy companies, and back to Malaysia in 2009 (after 30 years away) to rebuild the local subsidiary of a well-known UK services company, struggling to respond to the unique cultural challenges.
Just when I am thinking about hanging up my gloves, an opportunity comes from nowhere to work on Norway's biggest discovery for 30 years.
"This discovery," continues Steve, may be the best reservoir in the oil patch ever! Thanks, ARCO, for the personal development opportunities. Thanks, BP, for the freedom.”