Chuck Sampson


Some people would do anything to get even –even kill.

Moratorium is a tale of the backroom deals and political intrigue involved in the high stakes game of striking oil.

A deranged anarchist, Jeff Moon, fears Californians will vote to lift the moratorium on oil exploration, so he devises a plan to restore the “Earth Day” spirit of the sixties. Moon’s dangerous plan will kill thousands of oil workers and their families and desecrate the pristine Santa Barbara coastline.

Mike Tanner, senior editor of Ventura’s local paper, The Messenger, sympathizes with Moon’s hatred of oil companies. Angry at his oil baron father for the death of his mother, he supports the crazed anarchist’s activities with money and political propaganda.
Enter Maverick Duncan, a Russo-Asian and spy for the Chinese Ministry of Intelligence. Seeking revenge against Chevron Oil for their role in denying the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company their chance to own Unocal, he and the wily Bao Yang finance Moon’s scheme for their own purposes.

Dana Mathers, former world champion surfer, works for Chevron as a geophysicist. He discovers a large deposit of oil just off the coast of Santa Rosa Island. Unknown to Dana, his boss, Quinn Li, uses Mathers report as leverage against Boa Yang and CNOOC in a bid to further her own personal ambitions.

Innocent and oblivious to the impact of his discovery, Dana becomes a mark for oil foes and friends alike. Just after Dana proposes to Kelsey and she accepts, they find Mike washed up dead on the shores of Rincon Beach. Senior Detective Sergeant Cyrus Fleming takes charge of the murder investigation and based on a public fight Dana had with Mike, he arrests him for murder.

On the way to jail, Fleming's squad car flips over and bursts into flame. Dana risks his life to save Fleming from the twisted wreckage. Flemming, now convinced of his innocence, begins his quest to find Mike Tanner’s real killer, stop Jeff Moon, and save Santa Barbara.

Read online
  • 6