Patrick Comley, Vice President Commercial, Brigade Energy Services, is a member of the Emerging Executives Committee. He recently shared his insights on the energy services and technology sector.
ENERGY WORKFORCE: What is your role with the company? What does a typical day look like?
Patrick Comly: At its core, my role at Brigade is to serve as support to our critical front-line operations leaders, the truly most important leaders at this company. I am responsible for leading the customer-facing efforts, which includes commercial, contractual and other critical items. A typical day at Brigade is very dynamic. We are a small cohesive team that prides itself on being nimble to our operational and customer needs.
EW: Why did you join the energy industry? Was there an individual who influenced your decision?
PC: I joined the energy industry in 2008 immediately after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Initially, I was very excited about the opportunity to live and work in other areas of the country, and the world.
EW: What individual has been most instrumental in helping with your career? What did their mentorship look like, and how did it guide your path?
PC: I have been very fortunate to have several managers in my career who gave me permission to reach higher in my career. Many of them turned into mentors I stay close with today. Each one of these mentors saw more talent and ability within me than I do and continue to help bring it out. I think that is the key to mentorship, and I strive to do the same.
EW: What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
PC: Like many, I took the industry for granted. However, now I understand that it is a critical part of society, and truly helps enable us to improve our way of life.
EW: Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
PC: Everyone always talks about the energy transition, and while critically important, we need to start talking about it as an energy expansion. All forms of energy working together to better society, and most importantly, the people living in it. I hope the industry adopts this mantra and continues to educate the greater public.
EW: What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
PC: People like myself have a unique opportunity to work with even our most ardent detractors towards mutual understanding. I believe this is my role in the industry’s future. I have always found common ground with those I have established relationships with, and this will absolutely be the key to continued personal growth and industry success.
EW: How has your involvement in Energy Workforce supported your career goals?
PC: Energy Workforce is filled with thoughtful and intelligent people, of whom I feel fortunate to have been able to attend meetings and events with throughout the years. Working around these types of people is the best support for anyone’s career goals.
EW: Who are one or two individuals you’ve met while working in the industry who have impacted your thinking?
PC: This is an easy one. I met my wife while working in the industry. To say she has impacted my thinking would be a profound understatement. While we share many interests and are very like-minded on many industry topics, she is never satisfied, always striving for better, and thankfully, pulls me with her along the way.
EW: What’s a technology or innovation you’ve seen in the sector that impressed you?
PC: Hybrid work schedules. Personally, I like being in the office and meeting with people as often as possible. However, the hybrid work schedule has allowed the talent pool for our industry to expand. Buoyed by necessity out of the pandemic, I believe retention of staff who do not necessarily need to be in the office or in the field has increased due to the adoption of hybrid work schedules. Hybrid work is not perfect — and has a long way to go — but it has been an innovation not only in the energy industry but in all industries that can be mutually beneficial to companies and its employees when thoughtfully implemented.
EW: What advice would you give someone just getting started in the oil and gas industry?
PC: Simply put, be of service. Put yourself in a position to help others succeed, and it will benefit everyone.
EW: What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
PC: That hydrocarbons represent approximately 80% of the primary energy supplied to the world.
EW: What do you do for fun?
PC: Hiking, running, skiing, camping, a good red wine.
EW: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
PC: I thoroughly enjoy a skiing or hiking trip that ends with a comfortable bed.
EW: What’s a fun fact that people would never guess about you?
PC: My kids are seventh-generation Coloradans. (Well, sort of, because our family was in Colorado before it was a state.)
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