McCarthy will moderate panel discussion at West Kern Petroleum Summit

The big names coming to the West Kern Petroleum Summit – television personality Alex Trebek, Billionaire T.Boone Pickens and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader – are getting the headlines, but the best information is going to come from the panel discussions at the much anticipated October event.

McCarthy will be a moderating a panel discussion of oil industry executives including Dennis Arriola, president and CEO of SoCalGas, Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer of California Resources Corporation, and Christina Sistrunk, president and CEO of Aera Energy LLC at the Summit, which will be held in the middle of Taft's Oildorado celebration.

The eventwill be held Oct. 16 from 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Taft, across from the Oil Worker Monument in Taft. For more information go online to or call 661-763-7936.

McCarthy said he's looking forward to the discussion and the summit as a whole.

“California's energy production is driven by the hard work and ingenuity of Taft and the West Side. As Taft continues to power our state, there are challenges and opportunities on the horizon. I look forward to taking part in the upcoming West Kern Petroleum Summit as we work to revitalize this important industry that creates jobs and contributes to the growth of our community,” says Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

Arriola, Stevens and Sistrunk bring three unique and informed perspectives to the panel discussion.

SoCalGas, the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company serving nearly 21 million consumers. SoCalGas has over 8,000 employees and is headquartered in Los Angeles. Arriola spent most of the past 20 years in a broad range of leadership roles for the Sempra Energy companies. He served as president and chief operating officer of SoCalGas since 2012 and was promoted to CEO in 2014. From 2008 to 2012, Arriola served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based solar panel manufacturer. From 2006 to 2008, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer of both SDG&E and SoCalGas.

Stevens was vice president, corporate development, at Occidental Petroleum Corporation, where he led growth-focused initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions, land management, and worldwide exploration. Previously, Mr. Stevens served as vice president, acquisitions and corporate finance, as well as vice president, California operations. During his 20 years at Occidental, he managed or was involved in more than $18 billion in transactions.

Sistrunk joined Aera Energy LL in 2015. In 1998 Sistrunk joined Shell and held a series of technical and management positions, including operations manager and asset manager in the Gulf of Mexico and a two-year assignment as health, safety and environment manager for the Americas. Aera Energy LLC, one of the largest California and U.S. oil producers with annual revenues of approximately $5 billion. Delivering 25 percent of the state’s production, Aera is one of the nation’s most active drillers and operates over 14,500 wells. Aera’s success is accomplished through the innovative application of Lean manufacturing processes, information systems and company culture. Sistrunk returned to the U.S. in 2009 as vice president of production assets for the Gulf of Mexico and later became vice president of Arctic capability