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Letter from the Chair... Vivian K. Bust

The Section's community outreach activities were at a high pitch during the month of April. This year, 4th Grade students from elementary schools in Long Beach and Yorba Linda participated in the Essay and Art Poster contest. These posters depicting the uses of petroleum in our daily lives will be displayed at the 2000 WRM convention. The convention will also have an Oil History Museum. The museum will highlight the positive influences of the petroleum industry throughout the 100 years of oil and gas history in California.

The 6th Annual Santa Maria style BBQ at Weatherford Enterra was a culinary delight. We thank all of our volunteers, members, guests, and sponsors. The Easter Egg Hunt for Long Beach International Elementary school kindergartens at Drake Park was also a grand success.

In April, Special Awards were given to Junior and Senior Division high school students competing in the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair (OCSEF) and in the Los Angeles County Science Fair (LACSF). April and May activity photos will be featured in the June newsletter.

The SPE Legion of Honor awards will be presented at the May 9th Petroleum Technology Forum luncheon. We are fast approaching the final count down for the SPE Charity Golf Classic on Friday, June 23rd. To reserve space, contact Tim Liggett at (562) 981-6363 ext. 117 or

SPE Western Regional Meeting Update
Have you looked at our Preliminary Technical Program yet? If so, you have almost certainly been impressed with the excellent quality and content of this 60-page (!) collectors' item. Please note that many activities will be packed into this convention, in addition to an outstanding technical program ­ exhibits, oil mini-museum, field trips, short courses, community outreach, student and alumni events,mark up your calendar now!

Now is also the time to start inviting others to participate ­ maybe that vendor of yours who is not yet one of our exhibitors, or your small oil company buddy who really should get involved with our Independent's Day program ­ it's ok to use this convention to improve your social life!

Find out why all of our committee volunteers are so justifiably proud of their efforts in steering this vision of a joint AAPG/SPE conference through the rolling seas of change to make it a reality. Come on board by volunteering yourself. Contact Glenn Swanson, SPE WRM Chairman (Duke Engineering, 310-979-4777 x11 or, or our AAPG counterpart, Don Clarke (City of Long Beach, 562-570-3915) to join in on the fun!

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Board of Directors - Afternoon
Long Beach Petroleum Club
Wednesday, May 3rd, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Petroleum Technology Forum
Long Beach Petroleum Club


Petroleum Technology Forum
John Thompson Chairman Gas Co. (310) 578-2689
John Jepson Program DOGGR (714) 816-6847
Kirby Lindsey Treasurer THUMS (562) 624-3235
Tom Hoy Secretary LB DOP (562) 570-3943
Tuesday, May 9, 2000
TIME: 11:30 am - Social
12:00 pm - Lunch
12:30 pm - Presentation
PLACE: Long Beach Petroleum Club
3636 Linden Avenue
COST: $15.00 General Admission
$5.00 Student

SPEAKER: L. Bran Hilbert, Jr., Ph.D.
Exponent Failure Analysis Associates

TOPIC: "Unsolved Mysteries - Failure Analysis in the Petroleum Industry"

Abstract:. We in the Petroleum Industry work in a world in which we discover and produce a valuable commodity without ever coming face to face with it in its residence. Is it not a mysterious journey that takes us successfully from the spaghetti bowl of squiggly seismic lines taken from sediments beneath 8500 feet of water to the simple act of inserting a credit card in a pump at a gas station? But when something goes wrong, sometimes terribly wrong, we are confronted with even greater mysteries: how and why did it happen? Four case studies are presented which exhibit the concerted efforts of multidisciplinary teams to determine the likely causes of failures. The presentation will utilize videos and animations to explain failures. First, reducing well failures in the South Belridge Field from 20% to 5% through combined modeling, field tests and acknowledging that Mother Nature is in control. Second, the Alexander Kieland and Piper Alpha platforms disasters exhibit how seemingly insignificant flaws can lead to significant disasters. Third, lessons learned from operating in an environmentally sensitive area in Riverside County, California, the Prado Field. And fourth, failure of a gravel-pack screen, the work of man or nature?

Biography: Dr. L. Brun Hilbert, Jr., Senior Engineer of Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Menlo Park, California, performs failure analysis in the fields of mechanical engineering, with special applications to petroleum engineering, engineering mechanics, and geomechanics. In petroleum engineering, he is an expert in oil and gas well design, well production and wellhead equipment, well stability and sand production, drilling mechanics, petroleum rock mechanics, and reservoir engineering. In the area of geomechanics, Dr. Hilbert has helped clients in failures involving soil-structure interaction, including ground subsidence due to mines and oil fields, pipeline failures, and failures of underground structures. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Hilbert was employed as an Engineering Specialist for Exxon Production Research Company.


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