California's Elk Hills oil field has arrested its production decline with an approach based on total quality management (TQM) principles. Before 1992, production at Elk Hills, home to one of the U.S. naval petroleum reserves, had been sliding at a rate of 8%/year. It currently produces 65,000 b/d, the same level as a year ago. Dan Hogan, director of naval petroleum reserves in California in the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy, credited TQM with effecting the I billion bbl-plus field's turnaround in a talk before the San Joaquin Valley chapter of the American Petroleum Institute. Hogan is respo...

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