In memoriam: Charles Oliver (Doc) Stokley

Charles Oliver (Doc) Stokley, longstanding SPE member and innovator in the field of oil and gas packer technologies, died 3 December. His design achievements in oil and gas packers left a lasting impact on the industry and improved the safety of well completion operations. Stokley began his career at Schlumberger as a field logging engineer in Texas. He later worked as a reservoir engineer and completions engineer at Humble Oil and Refining, drilling engineer at Esso Eastern in Indonesia, completions engineer at Exxon Corp., and joined TAM International in 1982. During his more than 2 decades of career at TAM, Stokley made several innovations in packer systems. The resettable, inflatable packer system he developed in 1984 was well received by the industry and also saw broader scientific applications such as in earthquake studies, for permeability and transient testing at potential nuclear waste storage sites, and in the Ocean Drilling Program, an international effort which collected deep-sea cores to study the geological features of ocean basins. His work and designs improved management of casing pressure and annular gas migration. In 1993, Stokley developed an inflatable packer that connects to the topdrive for packer insertion as the casing joint is run, which facilitates the ability to seal inside the casing and establish circulation in minutes. He developed and patented more than 20 technologies, including a metal-to-metal seal port collar and a tool for combined stage cementing and annular gas migration control, while eliminating elastomeric seals. After several years leading the company’s research and development, Stokley retired from TAM as executive vice president in 2007. He held a BS degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (now Tennessee Tech University).