Washington, D.C. 20549

                                     FORM 8-K

                               CURRENT REPORT

                    Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the
                      Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported)    September 18, 2001

                        Berry Petroleum Company
           (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware                     1-9735                         77-0079387
(State or other           (Commission                     IRS Employer
jurisdiction of             File Number)                  Identification No.

             28700 Hovey Hills Road, P.O. Box 925, Taft, CA  93268
                      (Address of principal executive offices)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code      (661) 769-8811

         (Former name or former address, if changed since last report)

Item 5. Other Information

     On September 18, 2001, Berry Petroleum Company, a Delaware
corporation, issued a press release, a copy of which is attached hereto
as Exhibit 99.1 and is incorporated herein.

Item 7. Exhibits

   99.1   Press Release of Berry Petroleum Company dated
September 18, 2001.


     Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned thereunto duly authorized.

                            BERRY PETROLEUM COMPANY

                               By     /s/ Kenneth A. Olson
                               Name:    Kenneth A. Olson
                               Title:    Corporate Secretary and Treasurer


News Release
Contacts: Jerry V. Hoffman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Ralph J. Goehring, Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Berry Petroleum Company
P.O. Box 925 - Taft, CA 93268
Phone (661) 769-8811
Fax (661) 769-8960

September 18, 2001                                             For Immediate Release


     Taft, California - Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY) today announced that its Board of Directors has
authorized a stock repurchase program for up to an aggregate of $20 million of the Company's outstanding
Class A Common Stock. The Company has approximately 21.1 million Class A shares presently outstanding.

     Jerry Hoffman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "We believe our shares provide an
excellent investment opportunity as we have delivered consistent strong rates of return on equity, with a five year
average of 17%, and on capital employed, with a five year average of 14.4%, and we are rapidly retiring our debt.
The Company has increased its earnings and revenues significantly in the last several years as evidenced by our recent
inclusion in Fortunes' 2001 list of the 100 fastest growing companies in the U.S."

     The Company expects such purchases to be made from time to time in the open market, in private transactions or
otherwise, subject to market conditions and other factors. No assurance can be given as to the time period over which
the shares will be repurchased or as to whether and to what extent the share repurchases will be consummated.

     Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and gas production company with approximately
107 million barrels of proved reserves at year end 2000 and nearly 100 megawatts of electrical generating capacity
with its operations predominantly in California.

This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 involving risks and uncertainties discussed in detail in the Company's Securities and Exchange
Commission filing and reports, including the Company's 2000 Annual Report to shareholders. Actual results may
vary due to these or other risks and uncertainties.

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