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February 2009

The next Petroleum Technology Forum will be held on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at the Long Beach Petroleum Club, 636 Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807. The speaker will be Eric Upchruch with Chevron in Angola, West Africa. Abstract and speaker bio follow.

Long Beach Petroleum Club
3636 Linden Avenue Long Beach, CA 90807
Registration: 11:30 AM
Buffet Lunch: 11:30 noon
Presentation: 12:00-1:00 PM
$20.00 members,
Free for students.

“An Introduction to Offshore Drilling Operations in Angola, West Africa”
Eric Upchurch, Chevron, West Africa


Over the last several years Chevron has sustained a 10-rig drilling campaign off the coast of northern Angola. The variety of geologic prospects being drilled and the types of rigs being used are significantly diverse for a single oil producing region. Chevron operates in Blocks 0 and 14 off the coast of Angola's Cabinda Province in water depths ranging from 100' to 3000'. This presentation starts with a brief geologic history of the Cabinda oilfields, followed by a discussion of the present rig, well design and completion types necessary to develop the massive hydrocarbon resources present in this region. Also to be discussed are the organizational, geographic and logistical issues that make sustaining this 10-rig drilling program a constant challenge. And, finally, the deployment of future technologies and rig types will be discussed.


Eric Upchurch is a Senior Drilling Superintendent with Chevron in Angola, West Africa. e-mail: He has 24 years experience in drilling, completions and production engineering in the Gulf of Mexico, California, Alaska, Thailand and Angola. He has authored several papers covering the fields of petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, system dynamics and fluid mechanics and has been granted 2 US patents. He holds a BS in petroleum engineering from the U. of Tulsa, an MS in mechanical engineering from California State U., Long Beach and a PhD in aerospace engineering from the U. of Southern California and is a registered professional engineer in the state of California. He has served on the SPE Editorial Review Committee and has assisted in the planning of several SPE conferences.

Katherine Wallgren, Forum Chairperson,

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