What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
The world needs energy! Global energy consumption continues to grow at increasing rates, and oil and gas make up over half of that energy supply. Being part of an organization that provides the equipment and services to get that energy from the source to the end user is very rewarding. I can’t think of a better industry to be in.
What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
I entered the industry seven years ago near the previous bottom and have now experienced both the strong growth and abrupt decline that can happen in oil and gas. My initial impression of the industry throughout the first half of my career was one of never ending growth. I now have a much better understanding of just how cyclical this industry is, and I am impressed with companies who position themselves well in order to survive through up and down markets.
What have you found to be the most surprising about the industry?
We have incredibly smart people who do amazing things. The technological achievements that routinely occur are the most surprising to me. Drilling a hole six miles long from a floating vessel in water two miles deep and hitting the natural resources that were expected to be there leaves me in awe. I once heard it compared to throwing a football out of a jumbo jet at cruising altitude into a trashcan on the ground.
What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
Most projects in this industry are high cost and take place over an aggressive timeline, making them very challenging. It is extremely rewarding to see the individuals that come together and the teamwork necessary to successfully complete a large project.
Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next 5 years?
I hope to see closer partnerships between the equipment and service providers and the exploration and production companies. Prior to the recent downturn, spending on E&P was increasing at incredible rates, but oil companies were not seeing equivalent returns on their investment as global oil production only increased moderately. Collaboration between oil companies and their contractors through the well planning and operating lifecycle will be key to executing the most cost efficient projects.
How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
PESA has exposed me to the industry outside my organization. Through the Emerging Leaders Committee, I have been able to meet peers that have increased my understanding of the industry. Participating in the PESA Executive Leadership Program taught me the importance of coaching and mentorship, and I have since become much more intentional about personal growth.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
Through PESA there are so many opportunities to engage with industry leaders who are always willing to pass along valuable industry wisdom and leadership advice. I recently had a conversation with one of our executives discussing servant leadership. He explained that the one of the most important things a leader should focus on is enabling their team to succeed. The message has been something that has changed how I approach my team. I also value every moment I find myself with one of our veteran employees who have been in oil and gas for over 30 years. They can provide an authentic first-hand account of the progress the industry has made over the years, and of course they have some great stories.
What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead over the next five years as we enter another growth cycle. I am also excited to be a part of a much larger industry player with Schlumberger, who recently completed their acquisition of Cameron. It will be very interesting to see the innovative solutions that develop over the next few years as a result of the current financial strain on companies in the oil and gas industry.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
The oil and gas industry is a global industry that has huge impacts on the world economy. There are opportunities all over the world to make a great career in oil and gas. Our industry can positively impact the standard of living in many developing countries.
What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
I wish people knew more about the great measures the industry takes to protect its people and the environment. It is an industry norm to start every meeting with a “safety minute.” Many resources are dedicated to environmental preservation initiatives. Those outside the industry are exposed to the tragic accidents that make headlines, rather than the true efforts of many of the companies to operate in a safe, environmentally-responsible way.