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ARCO geologist David Suter shared that 'we at ARCO are all proud of our great heritage from Robert O. Anderson of Richfield and Thornton Bradshaw of Atlantic and many others including Harry Jamison, premier ARCO geologist. He and all the other great geoscientists and engineers and landmen that were involved in the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field discovery and development deserve our most sincere thanks. Anyone interested in getting a first hand look at the history and details of the Prudhoe Bay discovery can do so by going to AAPG GeoLegends: Harry Jamison for an excellent series of four interviews given by Mr. Jamison. He lays out the detailed history and events that led to the discovery. The pathway to discovery was very trying and discouraging at times in the early drilling years but the Richfield – Humble (later ARCO) geological/geophysical model prevailed which culminated in the Prudhoe Bay State #1 discovery well in May, 1967 and the Sag. River State #1 confirmation well in 1968. The ultimate prize and pride for this Mega Giant Prudhoe Bay Oil Field discovery belongs to that wonderful team of “ARCO” personnel led by Mr. Jamison. Mr. Jamison is certainly a legend in the oil and gas industry and his wonderful leadership ability and kind personality were keys to that success. His leadership and kindness were felt by all of us at ARCO that worked for him. I’d just like to say thanks to Mr. Jamison for all he means to me as an ARCO geologist and for all the dedicated years he gave to Richfield and ARCO and the oil and gas industry. I’d also like to thank the AAPG for providing us with this series of wonderful, informative interviews. This series of interviews provides a very personal connection to one of the greatest achievements in the history of the U.S. oil and gas industry.
Access the video on the AAPG website here.
IThe ultimate prize and pride for this Mega Giant Prudhoe Bay Field...belong to ARCO's Jamison
- David Suter, ARCO geologist
We are sorry to share that the following ARCO Alumni have passed away.
Robert "Bob" Iden died May 29 at home in Anchorage, surrounded by family. He was 82.
Bob was born in Staffordshire, England. During the war, he rode the train to Wales with his siblings, Bridget and Nick, and his mother Joy, to wait out the German air raids on a farm. His father remained behind as part of the Royal Air Force barrage balloon brigade. After the war, the family settled in southeast England, New Forest district. As a boy, he attended Brockhurst, a boy's boarding school, where he ran track and played soccer. He went on to obtain his bachelor's degree at University of London, Imperial College, Royal School of Mines. He came to the United States on a graduate scholarship to study petroleum engineering at Penn State. After graduating, he took a job in Anchorage with Shell Oil Company and was then hired by ARCO Alaska in 1970, at the beginning of the oil boom.
Bob worked in oil development and exploration in Cook Inlet and then took on the responsibility for the reservoir engineering aspects of the development and management of the Prudhoe Bay project. He became a vice president at ARCO in 1991. He retired in 1995 at age 54.
Bob was an avid fisherman, floating and fishing the Kanektok and Goodnews Rivers in Western Alaska, dip-netting salmon on the Copper River, and fishing the Kenai for more than 40 seasons. He was an inherent naturalist who keenly observed plants, birds, and wildlife, photographing and cataloging all the beauty he saw. He could often be found hiking, biking, or birding.
Donations in his memory can be sent to The Selkregg Community Engagement and Service Learning Award, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage 99508. Checks may be made to UA Foundation, noting the Selkregg Award or people may donate online at: https://engage.alaska.edu/uaa/give-now.
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.
David Boyer passed away February 23, 2023. A celebration of life was held at the Alaska Geological Materials Center on April 2. Remembrances included a number of friends and colleauges. Here are several:
"I knew Dave from working at ARCO in Denver, as well as in Anchorage, and know Dom, also. I haven’t been back to Anchorage since we moved to the Lower 48 in 2004. Dave
was a good person and a good geologist, whom I respected. (Becky Watson, colleague from ARCO)
"Dave was THE BEST Niakuk well-site geologist during bp's drilling during the early-mid90's; we always asked for Dave! We were in the same noontime workout class at the BP Fitness Center-he had a positive attitude about exercise and it was always good to see him there! Interactions with him on AOGCC matters were always straightforward and fact based, reflective of the professional that he was. (Bill Bredar, work colleague, fellow geologist)
"I had the pleasure to work with Dave for a few years in 2011/12 .... Dave was a key part of our Lisburne reservoir management team while working for BP .... Very complex rocks and Dave was the guy we asked to describe them in detail... Dave spent countless hours with a microscope and was always our go to guy with detailed questions about carbonates! Always courteous, always friendly, patient, dedicated, and driven to help our team progress the development of the Lisburne reservoir... a great geologist and a valued member of our team! (Bob Jennings, former colleague)
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), Bill Cobb (2008), 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.