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)    July 22, 2003

                     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.

       5201 Truxtun Avenue, Suite 300 Bakersfield, CA  93309
              (Address of principal executive offices)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code (661) 616-3900

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

1 Item 5. Other Events On July 22, 2003, 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 by reference. Item 9. Regulation FD Disclosure (c) Exhibits 99.1 Press Release of Berry Petroleum Company dated July 22, 2003. SIGNATURE 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 July 22, 2003


                          News Release

Berry Petroleum Company                      Phone (661) 616-3900
5201 Truxtun Avenue, Suite 300               E-mail:
Bakersfield, California 93309-0640           Internet:

Contacts:  Jerry V. Hoffman, Chairman, President and CEO  - -
           Ralph J. Goehring, SVP & CFO


Bakersfield, CA - July 22, 2003 - Berry Petroleum Company  (NYSE:BRY)
entered into a definitive agreement to sell approximately 43,000  net
acres  of  non-producing leases located in the Forest City  Basin  of
eastern  Kansas that contain coalbed methane potential  to  Evergreen
Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EVG).  Under the agreement, Berry will  receive
an  undisclosed  amount  of  cash, which covers  its  costs  in  this
acreage,  and  will  retain  an  overriding  royalty  interest.   The
completion  of  the transaction is subject to certain conditions  and
there is no assurance that all conditions will be satisfied.  Closing
is expected in the third quarter of 2003.

      Jerry  V.  Hoffman,  Chairman, President  and  Chief  Executive
Officer,  stated, "Berry continues to hold a significant position  in
nearby   acreage   and  intends  to  pursue  other  coalbed   methane
opportunities.  This transaction provides us an association  with  an
experienced  coalbed  methane operator and  we  are  encouraged  that
Evergreen  sees potential in the Forest City Basin.  We believe  this
association will assist Berry in exploiting its position  in  a  more
timely and efficient manner."

     Evergreen Resources is an independent energy company engaged  in
the  exploration, development, production, operation and  acquisition
of  unconventional natural gas properties.  Evergreen is one  of  the
leading  developers of coalbed methane reserves in the United  States
with  current  operations principally focused in the Raton  Basin  in
southern Colorado.  Evergreen also holds approximately 500,000  acres
of  prospective unconventional natural gas properties in  the  Forest
City Basin of eastern Kansas.

     Berry Petroleum Company is an independent oil and gas production
and  exploitation  company headquartered in Bakersfield,  California.
Berry  has  other coalbed methane interests in Kansas,  Illinois  and
Wyoming and recently established an office in Denver, CO to develop a
portfolio of oil and gas assets in the Rockies.

     "Safe harbor under the Private Securities Litigation Reform  Act
of  1995:"  This  release may contain descriptions of  the  Company's
expectations  regarding future business activities.   These  forward-
looking  statements are made in reliance upon safe harbor  provisions
of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Accordingly,
actual  results may differ materially from those contemplated by  the
forward-looking statements.

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