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john dabbar2

When ConocoPhillips exited the deepwater business in the summer of 2015, John Dabbar pivoted to a new vector in his career and assumed the function of US government affairs in Washington DC where he is an advocate for safe, clean, reliable, and affordable American energy - filling a position previously held by retiring ARCO Alum Jim Ford. “My job consists of meeting with government officials – appointed, elected, and career – at the federal, state, and local level”, said John. “It is unlike any other job I’ve ever had, because it requires lots of emotional intelligence and a balance of left-brain and right-brain thinking.”  

My job consists of meeting with government officials. It is unlike any other job I've ever had.

John’s career began in 1992 when he joined ARCO. John worked with Captain Jerry Aspland, Jim Morgan, John Sullivan, Nolan Miura, Kim Estes, and Bob Hernandez who handled all the vessel scheduling. “My first big effort there was working on the escort tugs for the Cherry Point refinery” said John. “These tugs are still in service today. After two years in Marine, Captain Aspland arranged for me to transfer to ARCO Pipeline Company, where I managed the Operations Control Center on Cherry Avenue. I learned a whole new language working with the pipeliners and a new part of the oil and gas business and I worked for Randy Lair.” ARCO Pipeline had four major operating units: ARCO Pipeline which ran the common carriers, ARCO Western which delivered ANS from the tankers to the refinery, ARCO Terminal Services for third party business, and Four Corners Pipeline which brought crude from Cherry Ave to the Farmington area. 

John recalls that it was in the coffee room at Cherry Avenue where his ARCO career took a major turn. Steve Beck, then the Controller for ARCO Transportation, told John he was working on a deal with Lukoil. “I, naively, said that sounds like an interesting project,” recalls John. In December 1996, John was offered a position in the LukARCO business unit, assigned to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium in Moscow. He worked with a number from the ARCO family including Scott Kerr, Cheryl Wiewiorowski, Bob Thweatt, Neil Fortune, Gary Boubel and Helene Harding.

It was in the coffee room where my career took a major turn. I naively said 'that sounds like an interesting project'. 

“I spent the next seven years in Moscow, working on the pipeline until it was up and running; by then BP had acquired the part of ARCO that I was working in and I continued in the same job with BP,” said John. He subsequently moved to ConocoPhillips where he continues to work closely with several ARCO alumni. After successfully exiting the Kashagan project, John moved back to his roots and managed the Marine group, including Polar Tankers, the successor to ARCO Marine where he started some 20 years earlier - where many ARCO Alumni had moved up the ranks and were now in leadership positions. Four good years: Successful safety and environmental performance by the Polar team, several safe but dry deepwater wells, lots of LNG shipping, and a step change improvement in offshore vessel management.

John invites any ARCO Alumni visiting our nation’s capital please give him a shout as he would enjoy meeting up.

john bridges headshot 2 sqARCO Alumnus John Bridges is the Executive Director of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), a global non-profit membership association serving international oil and gas professionals. His extensive career in the oil and gas industry has encompassed leadership roles in exploration, production and operations in multiple US locations from Texas to Alaska, and international roles including explorations, negotiations and business development in SE Asia, Africa, and Europe.

John joined ARCO in 1981. He credits his time with ARCO as the building blocks that started a wonderful career in the oil and gas industry. Early on he knew he wanted his career to lead into international work, so he took the advice from a couple of ARCO colleagues and started his career in the lower 48 working in the Anaconda mining division in Denver, then the oil and gas divisions in Bakersfield and Midland. John then transitioned to Alaska, working Prudhoe Bay, Alpine and exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve and North Slope Foothills area. “Working Alaska is a great stepping stone into international because it is one of two domestic areas that operates more like international" said John. He credits the ARCO leadership of those he worked with during his early days in mining and then in oil and gas in Bakersfield and Anchorage as integral to his career. “Everyone I met and worked with at ARCO was top of class. I enjoy and value today the friendships I made during my ARCO career.”

Working Alaska was a great stepping stone into international.

In 2001, John joined Anadarko and most recently served as Manager of International Negotiations – North Africa and Europe in the UK for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. During his time at Anadarko, he had the opportunity to work and contribute directly on three major efforts including Alaska, Algeria and Mozambique while also conducting Business Development efforts in SE Asia.

The skills John learned throughout his experience as a negotiator starting with ARCO remain a driving force behind his leadership of AIPN. “A good negotiator must embody integrity by respecting all people, cultures, and differing opinions as well as understanding that there may be more than one right answer or more than one right way to achieve a task.”

Taking advantage of AIPN benefits as a member for years, he now enjoys the opportunity to give back. “Over the years my AIPN membership was a vital part of my career growth, with its exclusive networking opportunities, high-quality education and training, and time-saving model contracts. It is very rewarding to now be in a position where I can give back.” John leads a staff of seven and works hand in hand with the AIPN Board of Directors to oversee all facets of the association, which serves more than 3,000 international oil and gas negotiators in some 115 countries.

A good negotiator must embody integrity by respecting all people, cultures, and differing opinions as well as understanding that there may be more than one right answer or more than one right way to achieve a task.

Founded in 1981, AIPN enhances the professionalism of cross-border energy negotiators throughout the world by offering continuing education and training, networking opportunities, and international oil and gas model contracts. Its membership is just as varied as the role of a petroleum negotiator, comprised of business professionals, lawyers, academics, engineers, geologists, and financial analysts, among many others.

John earned his MBA with a concentration in Finance from California State University - Bakersfield and his BBA in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Texas - Austin. John has a passion to help others and has served in various positions with the Boy Scouts of America, as a Board member for the Alaska Performing Arts Center and also as a Board Member for the Alaska Junior Theater. John is currently active with UNICEF and works on its Houston Congressional Action Team Committee. In his leisure time, John enjoys scuba diving and photography.


greg sanders 2Greg Sanders retired from his career in the oil industry in 2017. He and his wife Lisa, split their time between Anchorage and Anthem, Arizona.

Greg was with ARCO Alaska from 1986-2000, then he worked for ConocoPhillips, Pioneer and Caelus Energy before retiring to focus on golf. From all accounts, Greg made a great decision, as he is winning tournaments around the country. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Golf Association and volunteers for the United States Golf Association.

Most recently, Greg took the lead with an Eagle on the 9th Hole at the Alaska State Amateur Golf tournament on the same day as the ARCO Alumni networking event in Anchorage. Two days later, Greg earned his sixth Alaska State Amateur Golf tournament win at Anchorage Golf Course for his 7th State Amateur title.

Greg earned his sixth Alaska State Amateur Golf tournament win at Anchorage Golf Course for his 7th State Amateur title.

It’s been a good golf year for Greg, he also won the State Match Play tournament at Settlers Bay. 

In 2017, golf took Greg from Anchorage to the Pacific Northwest, and east to Atlanta. Greg took the title of low amateur in the Arizona Senior Open at Wickenburg Ranch Golf Club. Greg finished in sixth place with a 36-hole total of 141.

In September 2017, Greg fired a 4-under par 68 to take the first round lead at the 33rd Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Being at the top of a leaderboard is familiar territory for Greg, who earlier that summer was on the verge of making it to the final match of the PNGA Master-40 Amateur when he had to concede his semifinal match on the last hole because of a prior family commitment.

Greg and his wife Lisa will be travelling this coming year, visiting their first grandchild, playing more tournament golf as a first year senior amateur player, and spending some time away from the Alaska cold winter in the warm Arizona sun. Next year's goal may be to win the Alaska Senior Amateur and Alaska State Amateur in the same year. Good luck Greg.

william lafayette William Lafayette Gray
February 13, 1947 - June 28, 2018

William Lafayette Gray passed away on June 28, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Corbin Gray, sons & daughters in law: Bernard Keith & Devona Kay Gray and Byron Heath Gray & Natasha Robinson; granddaughter: Paige Alexandria Gray; brother & sister in law: Robert & Regina Gray; sister: Carolyn Gray and a host of nieces and nephews.

Louisa Meyer kindly shared that William died unexpectedly Wednesday morning. William was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, had a successful procedure, but had an adverse reaction to a medication.

After ARCO, William taught in Dallas ISD where he and Louisa reconnected. “We stayed in touch via Facebook and had a long lunch together last year. We laughed a lot and, as you know, he was always full of wisdom. I especially liked learning about his fraternity’s mentoring program,” emailed Louisa.

You may write his family at: 1908 Windmill Hill Ln DeSoto, Texas 75115.

The family will receive friends at the Friendship West Baptist Church, 2020 W. Wheatland Rd., Dallas, TX 75232 on Tuesday - July 3, 2018 from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. with the Funeral Service beginning at 11:00 A.M. with Reverand Claude Bradshaw, officiating. Interment will follow in Holy Redeemer Cemetery, DeSoto, Texas.

Read the full obituary here.

dallas event blog 2018 houston

Berryhill Baja Grill, Houston
We planned our Houston happy hour to coincide with NAPE and were pleased that Joe Sinner, Rick Payne, Christy Smith, David Nicklin and Jamie Robertson came to the happy hour following NAPE activities. Other new faces included John Bridges, Executive Director, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, Wyn Michals who has her own company, PetroPure. Wyn caught up with several friends including David Dubois and Janeen Judah whom she first met at Super School. Wyn shared that she worked in gas marketing for Dan McGinnis in Plano. Joan Kennedy who is looking for her next career opportunity, came along for her first ARCO Alumni happy hour.

With oil at $65 a barrel, the mood was positive at NAPE, with investment bankers keen to find opportunities.

Career moves are fewer, but continue. John Gillespie moved from Chevron to WT Offshore, Tim Seidel who is with the BP L48 group, shared that they had moved back into their offices that week, and the first floor was still under construction following Hurricane Harvey. Doug Peck and Bob Kramm are both with BHP and Prabodh Pathak is with ExxonMobil. Craig Mosely does both freelance photography and work for the Houston Chronicle. Brad Berg and Wes Peirce drove in from The Woodlands.

Retirees included Mike McKee and Janeen Judah. Janeen shared that she will retire from Chevron in April.

As our evening drew to a close, Jennifer Bell, with Advancial drew two names for raffle prizes which were awarded to Joe Sinner, Legacy Reserves and Mark Landt, Stellar Oil and Gas.

dallas event blog 2018 houston

Bent Tree Country Club, Dallas
Thanks to Steve Suellentrop for making the Bent Tree Country Club available for our ARCO Alumni. The Dallas networking happy hour was sponsored by Advancial and Contek Solutions. We appreciate the continued support of our sponsors who enable us to get together as we approach twenty years since ARCO was acquired. Jim Johnstone, President, Contek Solutions, had flown in from Minneapolis the evening before the happy hour and due to lightning and thunder, was diverted to Lubbock. The flight landed in Dallas at 3a.m. and we are grateful Jim had the energy to attend!

In addition to our Dallas residents, Bab Anderson drove in from Houston and Pat and Ken Thompson and Gerry Suellentrop were in town from Anchorage. Jamie Robertson, Salt Creek Petroleum and Mark Landt, Stellar Oil and Gas attended both our Houston and Dallas happy hours. Mark's Houston home was impacted by Hurricane Harvey and they are living in Plano.

Carolyn Hunter Hale framed a picture of Harold Inman and set up a memorial including balloons and a candle.

Carolyn also was able to catch up with Ian Hogg, Carolyn Howington, and Gary McKiddy who worked in the Internal Auditing Department together at ARCO. Carolyn Howington is at CIGNA, Carolyn Hunter Hale is with Reef Exploration, Ian is consulting through his company ERK solutions, Gary is CFO at Premier Nationwide Lending.

Ken had spent the day at the Pioneer board meeting and he and Pat celebrated their son’s birthday later that evening. Mike Camara and Steve Sinclair work at Pioneer Natural Resources. Gerry is working for Caelus and has the unenviable commute between Dallas and Anchorage. On the positive side, he sees more of his brother Steve and sister-in-law, gourmet chef, Betty. Steve retired from Hunt Oil in January and he and Betty are enjoying skiing, seeing their children and grandchildren and an upcoming trip to Spring Training. Martin Wouch, also with Hunt, attended. Jocelyn Spellman, Cynthia Thomas, SandDollar Financial; James Doyle, IBM, are among our regular attendees along with Carlton and Mary Karlik. Carlton is with Contek Solutions, our event sponsor.

New faces included Melinda Wright, TPG Global; Steve Saleh, Nancy Collum, Kenneth and Barbara Dickerson, and Mike and Gail Seward who met at ARCO in the 1980s.

Chris Moore, Moyes & Company, shared he has always been out of town and was thrilled to finally attend an ARCO alumni gathering.

This was also Mary Sculley’s first ARCO gathering; Mary runs The Exercise Coach with her husband Pat.

Raju Checka, Anil Chopra, PetroTel; Hoyt Taylor II, Larry Asbury, and Suzanne Larsen all attended with their spouses, making for a nice evening.

A number of our alumni are retired or consulting, thereby enabling them to travel to visit children, grandchildren and explore new areas.

We had a record number of Anchorage residents at our Dallas happy hour.

Ian Hogg and Diane Camara won Advancial branded prizes. Thank you Natalie Storrs, our Advancial sponsor, whose charm and warmth added to our annual Dallas event.

Members who updated their information or joined recently whom we hope to see next time include Ruth Ann Meek, Cindy Daniels, and Tom Schmitt. Log on to read what members are doing.