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Los Angeles Basin Section SPE - December 1999 Newsletter


"Last Newsletter of the 20th Century"

Letter form the Chair... Vivian K. Bust

Join us for our Membership Roundup luncheon on Tuesday December 7th at the Long Beach Petroleum Club. Top-level executives participating in the Independent Oil Management Panel at the luncheon will be speaking on topics including their capital budget plans, production and development plans, property acquisition objectives, strategies for oil company growth and the long-term view of E&P in the LA Basin and California. The Chief Deputy of the DOGGR from Sacramento will be presenting the DOGGR plan for electronic communication with the oil and gas operators. Read the inside article to get the detailed scoop on the December 7th luncheon.

Energy sources for the 21st century were discussed from multiple perspectives this month. SPE Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. George Stosur, US DOE, spoke about the world's need for more energy and the most likely energy sources including heavy oil, tar sands, gas in tight formations, coalbed methane and natural gas hydrates. Important gas-to-liquid (GTL) technologies used to convert natural gas to liquid transportation fuels are at the edge of being commercial. In our global economy, what will it mean to liquify gas for transport to market?

"Return to the Moon to develop commercial energy resources," says Apollo 17 Astronaut Dr. Harrison Schmitt. Private industry development of unique helium molecules (helium-3 isotopes) stored in surface lunar soil may one day be the feedstock fueling fusion reactions in power plants to produce electricity. Dr. Schmitt estimated that one metric ton of helium-3 isotopes has the same energy potential as 3 billion dollars of coal equivalent! Will the Moon serve as a bridge to both the next generation of space exploration and new clean energy resources? We hope to have further opportunities to talk about these exciting possibilities with Dr. Schmitt who is our scheduled Keynote Speaker for the 2000 WRM.

Reminder. The Call for Papers for the 2000 WRM has been mailed to members and we encourage you to participate. You may submit your abstract by completing the abstract form on the SPE Homepage at We need volunteers. To join us, contact Glenn at (310) 979-4777 ext. 11 or Our Exhibits Chair, Linda Smith, says she expects to sell out all exhibit space by mid January. Reserve space by calling Linda at (310) 395-0185.

As we cross the century mark into the next millennium, we began a journey of engineering and technical possibilities beyond our imagination. Let us take a moment to reflect on the resources we have enjoyed from the good Earth. We wish all of our members a joyous and healthy holiday season.

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Board of Directors - Breakfast
Marriot Hotel, Long Beach Airport
Wednesday Dec. 1st, 7:00 - 8:30 am

Membership Roundup
Industry Appreciation Luncheon
Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 11:30 am
Long Beach Petroleum Club

West Coast Anniversary Forum
Friday, Dec. 10th, 8:00 am
Gerontology Auditorium, USC

Membership Roundup
Industry Appreciation Luncheon
Come to the SPE Industry Appreciation Luncheon to have some fun, to gather with friends, and to learn about the strategies of the most active Independent Operators in California. We plan to recognize our scholarship award winners and to share our enthusiasm about our community outreach programs. Participate in "The Games" by arriving at 11:30 am.

Date: Tuesday, December 7th
Place: Long Beach Petroleum Club
Time: 11:30 - 12:00 Membership Social and "The Games"
12:00 - 1:15 Luncheon, Scholarship Awards and Outreach Programs
1:15 - 3:00 Independent Oil Management Panel
Price: $20 for members/guests $5 for students
Reservations: Please call John Jepson (714) 816-6847 or Scott Hara (562) 495-9351

Independent Oil Management Panel Speakers

Kenneth Henderson, Chief Deputy
Department of Conservation, DOGGR
Title: "Electronic Communication with the DOGGR"

Phil Sorbet, California Asset Manager
Nuevo Energy Company
Title: "Nuevo Energy Company: Why We are Committed to California"

A. Jay Magness, Vice President
Magness Petroleum Company
Title: "The Magness Acquisition of Exxon's interest in the Fault Block I Wilmington Townlot Unit in the Wilmington Oilfield"

Randy H. Breitenbach, CFO
Breitburn Energy Company
Title: "An Investment Perspective of Breitburn Energy Company: A Strategy for Growth"

Timothy Marquez, President
Venoco, Inc.
Title: "An Overview of Year 2000 Capital Budget Plans"

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West Coast PTTC Anniversary Forum
Review of Class III Projects

Date: Friday, December 10th
Time: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Price: $30.00
Place: Gerontology Auditorium, USC
Registration: (213) 740-8076

Forum Program
Welcoming Address ~ Mike Ray, Associate Director, NPTO

Reactivation of an Idle Lease to Increase Heavy Oil Recovery through Application of Conventional Steam Drive Technology ~ Stephen Schamel, University of Utah

Increasing Heavy Oil Reserves in the Wilmington Oil Field through Advanced Reservoir Characterization and Thermal Production Technologies ~ Scott Hara, Tidelands Oil Production Co.

The Feasibility of Optimizing Recovery and Reserves from a Mature and Geologically Complex Multiple Turbidite Offshore California Reservoir Through the Drilling and Completion of a Horizontal Well ~ Steven F. Coombs, Pacific Operators, Offshore

Increasing Waterflood Reserves in the Wilmington Field through Improved Reservoir Characterization and Reservoir Management ~ Scott Walker, Tidelands Oil Production Co.

Soft Rock Fracturing Techniques for East Wilmington Field ~ Eric Upchurch, THUMS

Sponsorship of an FSEA Chapter

At their June 1999 meeting, the Board approved an expenditure of $1,500 for sponsoring an FSEA (Future Scientists & Engineers of America) chapter in city of Yorba Linda (Richard Nixon's Birth Place and Library). The program will start in November 1999 at Mabel Paine elementary School in Yorba Linda, California. SPE LA Basin 1998 Section Chair, Dr. Sam Sarem, is one of the mentors for this program.

Founded by George Westrom of Odetics, Inc. and with the support of the Orange County Engineering Council, FSEA is now a national after-school program that promotes technology, science and engineering in grades 4-12. For further information, please visit

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Call for Papers for 2000 WRM

Call For Abstracts Deadline - December 10, 1999

The Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (PSAAPG) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) are "Working In Concert" and invite you to submit an abstract for presentations to be given at the Western Regional Meeting (WRM) to be held June 19-22, 2000 at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach, California. Please submit your Abstract by completing the abstract form on the SPE Homepage at Abstract forms can also be obtained by contacting Scott Hara as shown below. The abstract deadline is December 10. Authors will be notified in mid-January 2000.

More information on this event can be found in the PSAAPG Homepage at and the SPE Los Angeles Basin Section Homepage at

Program Committee Co-chairs are: Scott Hara (562) 436-9918 or and Don Miller, (661) 665-5464 or We intend to give you a rewarding experience. Please join us!

Exhibit at 2000 Western Regional Meeting

The first round of Opportunity to Exhibit letters have generated a strong positive response. We anticipate exhibit space to sell out by mid January. All exhibitors who commit to booth space by January 15th will be listed in the Announcements brochure. Reserve space by contacting Linda Smith at (310) 395-0185.

Need Help Writing An Abstract?

If you're the type who accomplishes technological feats but has a hard time writing about it, he will gladly help you write an abstract. With a few tips, you can have an abstract ready in no time. Contact Lyman Handy, LASPE Publications Mentor at (714) 525-6939 or

Job Opportunity
with Union Bank of California

Downtown L.A. Bank seeks Petroleum Engineer with 0 to 5 years experience. Provide technical support for loans made to small, independent oil and gas companies. Bank experience not required, but must be proficient with Lotus or Excel. Salary range $40,000 to 60,000 plus benefits. Please fax resume to F. Arroyo at Union Bank of California (213) 236-6483.

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