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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.

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Harold InmanHarold Inman passed away Tuesday, January 2, in Richmond, TX after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Harold was a native of Wilmington, NC and a graduate of New Hanover High School ('66) and Wake Forest University ('70) with a degree in Spanish. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA where he learned Farsi. He later mastered Portuguese, French and Malay. While stationed at Ft. Hood, he met his future wife Mollie (née Melone), who was a student at the University of Texas. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas and earned an MBA. ARCO petroleum company and later Enron recognized his language expertise and sent Harold all over the world working for them. After nearly 30 years in the oil industry, Harold retired to his ranch in West Texas.

Unable to stay retired for long, Harold returned to college and earned his Masters degree in Education from Texas Tech University. He taught at Rotan High School until his lifelong love of hunting got the better of him and he decided to turn it into a full-time profession. He and Mollie moved to South Texas and he managed customer relations at an Orvis-endorsed Five Star hunting resort in northern Mexico. He eventually settled in Richmond, TX, where he was an adamant giver of his time and resources to the Houston Safari Club, Patrick Williamson Foundation and Sky High for St. Jude.

Harold is survived by his wife of 44 years, his sons Ross and Charlie, their respective wives Hope and Fiona, his grandchildren Cash (7), Lucy (6), Austin (5) and Caroline (2), and his brothers Philip and Robert. A service will be held on Monday, January 8, at 11am at Wrightsboro Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC. He will be buried at his family's ancestral land in Ash, NC. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society.

'Shark' Keith Lynch Reviews Ideas Pitched by 'Sparks'

Most of us have viewed or are at least familiar with the tv series, Shark Tank. In a clever play on words, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee hosted three forums in 2017 called the Spark Tank. The IADC Spark Tanks are forums where new and developing technologies (“sparks”) are presented to a panel of operators and contractors (“sharks”), who provide feedback to the presenter. The purpose is to provide technology developers with insights on what is important to their prospective customers. Thirty minutes are allotted for each topic; 15 minutes for a pitch presentation then Q&A. ARCO Alumnus Keith Lynch was a ‘shark’ on August 2.

Keith chairs the Drilling Engineers Committee for IADC (formerly known as the Drilling Engineering Association, DEA, a group focused on facilitating JIPs for new drilling related technologies). He took over the role from Ben Bloys, Chevron, who is also a former ARCO colleague.

There is sometimes a vast disconnect between a good idea and a great product, and the Spark Tanks attempts to close that gap in a good-natured, productive manner,” IADC Group Vice President/Publisher Mike Killalea said of the Spark Tanks, which is his brain child.

“The Spark Tank has been fun for everybody” said Keith Lynch. “IADC sends out a meeting notice to attend the Spark Tank and see the technologies. We created an opportunity for ideas to be presented to drilling contractors and operators in a format like Shark Tank,” said Keith. “The presenters are people with an innovation or invention. They run the full spectrum, and might be entrepreneurs working in a garage, a small company looking to expand a product line, or major service companies pitching an idea. The next Spark Tank is December 6. See:

The goal is to offer an environment where new ideas are pitched that have not gotten traction elsewhere.

“Everyone thinks they have their own secret sauce to improve a product or service,” said Keith. 

The role of the “Sharks” is to assess the technologies discussed and offer advice on options to fund/promote the development and use.

The audience is a good cross-section of drilling contractors and operators. If someone in the audience likes a presentation, they can approach the presenters afterward. The role of the sharks is to offer advice, suggest whom to speak to, or how to further the technology. The sharks also point out any flaws they see. “It a classic free advice scenario where the inventor might make a connection and ultimately get an endorsement where someone pays for their technology,” said Keith.

A Wells Operations Advisor at ConocoPhillips in Houston, Keith does committee work with both the SPE and the DEC. “Like my work with SPE, the DEC efforts are meant to promote positive activity in the industry,” explained Keith. “ConocoPhillips encourages the technical staff to participate in this type- of professional organization involvment.”

Thank you to everyone who attended our reunion at the Paramount Cafe October 24. Log on to view the event pictures. Members shared the following:

Our sponsors
A special thank you to ACS, Advancial, Edge Energy, Liberty Resources and Noble Energy for making the event possible. It was great to see more than 50 former colleagues, spouses and even a son attend.

We missed Mark Pearson and his infectious laughter as he was in the UK celebrating his mother’s birthday. Liberty Resources was well represented by Stacy Strickland, Larry Griffin and Gordon Pospisil.

Steve Enger, Edge Energy, also sponsored the Denver event. He brought along his wife Cynthia and Mike and Cindy Reinart who were in town from Missouri. The two couples flew to Europe the next day to cruise the Rhine. The Reinart’s had flown in from Seattle where they visited their daughter and grand-children.

cynthia steve enger

Career and/or city changes
Sam French moved to Denver with BP L48 in early August, where the company established its new headquarters. “Funny thing,” said Sam, “my first permanent assignment with Arco was in Denver in 1984. I've come full circle.” Sam is in the West Business Unit, focused on Mancos Shale Gas development in the San Juan Basin. He is also BP's subject matter expert on refracturing horizontal shale wells, helping all business units implement refracs in their assets.

Tom Walker has his own business in petroleum engineering consulting. Tom founded Orchard Petroleum Engineering Solutions, PLLC in early 2016. OPE is a professional production engineering consulting company. He and Sam also serve on an SPE committee together.

Jay Stratton is in Denver working for Jagged Peak Energy since mid August. Michelle and four of their daughters are in Oklahoma which “after seven years feels like home to the girls.” With grandchildren in Kansas City and Grapevine, Jay was all smiles when he said that he will be competing for Michelle’s attention.

Tom LaHouse relocated from Houston to Denver. He closed on a house in the Denver area in early October, fulfilling a long standing desire to live near the Rockies. He therefore had the opportunity to meet fellow alumni on the 24th.

Dan DeLapp and his wife Shirley are still driving the backroads of America and loving it, but two grandsons in Colorado have them traveling less. They moved to Fort Collins in July 2015 and love being grandparents.

Joanne Cech also drove from Fort Collins where she is working for the City and enjoying how well run it is.

Pat and Sylvie McGuire are back in the U.S. living in Colorado Springs. Pat is an SPE Distinguished lecturer, he is working at International Reservoirs Technology Inc and is available for consulting.

Carrie Laudon, with Geophysical Insights is also available for consulting in her field of expertise, the geosciences.

Larry Chorn was in Academia at Colorado School of Mines, at Encana and is now with a smaller company.

Long-term residents
Robert Schutzius is still at Anadarko where he is the Reserves Manager for the Wattenberg Field; Alan Wilson is at Encana, and William O’Brien is with Nitec LLC, where he works on enhanced oil recovery. Tom Tracey continues to work for BTA Oil Producers in Denver, focused on the Williston, Powder River, and Delaware Basins. Scott Wilson has been with Ryder Scott in Denver since 2000.

John MinierHerb Vogel Pat McGuire

Herb Vogel and Watty Strickland are two ARCO alumni working at SM Energy with Jay Ottoson; Herb attended the happy hour; Watty was on business in the Permian Basin.

Since 2014, Neyeska Mut has been President of Cynosure Energy, a joint venture between her holding company, Cynosure Enterprises, and a private equity investment group. Cynosure acts as the operator for various investment funds working interests in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Her son has recently left Chevron to join Cynosure as project manager, freeing Steve and Nyeska to spend more time together as they transition to retirement.

Until that time, Steve Mut is consulting with Nycon Energy on Unconventional Oil Integrated Projects and Strategy.

In other News
John and Cindy Minier were returning from a visit with John’s son, daughter-in-law and 10 month old daughter in Moab where they met for hiking and visiting. After the happy hour, they returned to their home in Estes Park.

Terri Skinner retired from Marathon and came along to catch up with friends; Dallas and Phyllis Spear, both formerly with ARCO, are also retired.

Melanie Westergaard retired from Denali Energy and has spent her time traveling, volunteering and serving on the Board of Directors at CSM Alumni Foundation.

We were sorry to miss Ben Ball and Chris Garlasco, both of whom continue consulting for PRA.

We re-connected with some members including Ben and Alice Chao who live in Denver and will be married 50 years in 2018. Congratulations.

Kim Touysinhthiphonexay is a new member who shares that she has been out of the oil and gas business for about 15 years and now works as principal analyst and data scientist for Acxiom Corporation, mostly in the area of digital marketing data analytics. She is an artist, painting watercolors and also large-scale murals and props.

Paul Shattuck is retired and living in Montana City, Montana with his wife Colleen. They live in Wimberley, Texas during the winter.

Steve Keisling last worked for ARCO in 1993. During that tenure, he worked in Lafayette and Bakersfield. Since then he has moved out of the oil and gas industry.

Kenneth Bland did not attend the event as he had knee surgery. We hope it went well!