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Earlier this week, Pink Petro founder & CEO, Katie Mehnert, took the stage in Bakersfield, Calif., to talk women in energy at the Women in Energy forum, presented by Berry Petroleum, Aera Energy and the California Resources Corporation

 

The theme of her remarks? Resilience

 

"When we embrace adversity we can emerge stronger and more resilient. Resilience is a key skill to the game of work and life," Mehnert told the crowd. 

 

CEO of Aera Energy, Christina Sistrunk believed it was important to bring women together, so the first ever conference was put together.  "We had 200 women we had to turn away.  Next year will be bigger than ever,’ said Sistrunk. 

 

Christina became CEO two and a half years ago after a successful career at Amoco and Shell.  Sistrunk believes women are key to the business and current and future workforce. 

 

Other speakers at the event included Major Lisa Jaster, (pictured at center) one of only three women to graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School, and the CEO of Aera, Christina Sistrunk (pictured at left).

 

It was an inspirational day, and we were thrilled to be part of it. 2017 has been a hard year, but the good news: There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we can see it. 

 

"Why waste a good crisis?" Katie said during the event. "Our experiences shape our ability to bounce back stronger than ever."

 

To read up the press on the event, click here

From Bloomberg

 

Ryu Bokyoung is confident she can do anything a man does in the sprawling Ulsan refinery in South Korea, be it scaling 100-meter steel towers or working through the night when repairing the plant. The challenges that come with being a woman in the traditionally male-dominated oil industry have never stopped her.

But she worries a baby might.

Newly wed, the 28-year-old engineer is now considering her options for when she has children. Taking a break would be inevitable given the safety concerns of an expectant mother climbing towers or the difficulty of staying away from her baby all night.

“If I were a man, these are things I wouldn’t have to worry about,” said Ryu, who joined SK Innovation Co., the nation’s top refiner, in 2012.

Ryu Bokyoung

Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg

Women like Ryu are pioneers in a business where about 80 percent of the global workforce is male, women’s bathrooms at some refineries are a relatively new addition, and the term ‘oilman’ has its own dictionary entry. But in the aftermath of the crash in crude prices that began three years ago, Big Oil is redefining its business model and realizing that hiring and retaining more women would boost profitability.

Asian firms, which lag behind other regions in gender diversity, are now catching up, with SK and Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. focusing more on female workers.

“Women are underrepresented in the oil and gas industry in general and Asia is no exception,” said Katharina Rick, a partner at Boston Consulting Group, who co-authored a report on promoting gender balance in oil and gas. “The industry has made several attempts since the late 1980s to become a more inclusive work environment but the numbers have not increased as fast as in other industries.”

Women accounted for only 22 percent of the workforce in oil and gas, one of the smallest ratios among major industries, according to the BCG report. Only construction ranked lower, with an 11 percent female representation. Finance had 39 percent, and health and social work 60 percent.

Though the share of female workers in office-based roles has increased, it is nowhere near parity in technical and field roles outside of the office, BCG’s Rick said. When refiners first started hiring more women, there was a scarcity of bathrooms for them at some plants as the facilities only employed men.

While women account for about 30 percent of the workforce at global oil majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp. in the U.S. and BP Plc in the U.K., the proportion sinks to below 10 percent at many large Asian refiners like India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., South Korea’s S-Oil Corp. and Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Graduate Hiring

One of the relatively better ratios in the region can be found at Showa Shell, where about 24 percent of employees are women. With roots in The Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the firm has been trying to increase female workers for the last 20 years at the urging of its former European parent company. Some numbers show success: It hired more female graduates than males for the first time ever this year. Yet it only has one woman on its eight-member board.

Ayumi Takahashi recalls that when she joined Showa Shell more than 20 years ago, the few women who were sent to gas stations would have their abilities questioned by the men who owned the service stands. They would ask “what could you possibly offer?” Women still face gender discrimination in the industry, she says.

“Every woman definitely experiences it at one time or another,” said Takahashi, now a manager in the oil business research and development division at Showa Shell. “We repeatedly face hardships but keep going.”

Takahashi and colleague Yuri Inoue, head of the company’s legal division, are pushing to break down gender barriers at Showa Shell as they hold workshops and seminars to educate men on the importance of diversity. Their firm plans to boost women in leadership positions from 13 out of 211 to at least 26 by March 2020.

 

“It’s difficult for companies to differentiate themselves in the oil industry,” said Inoue. “It’s vital to have diversity for survival.”

Crude’s price crash, geopolitical instability and changes to environmental regulations are driving a fundamental shift in the oil and gas industry, according to an Ernst & Young Global Ltd. survey last year. Diversity is key to navigating the disruption, and more needs to be done to attract, retain and promote women, according to the survey, where 61 percent of respondents recognized that gender diversity impacts financial performance.

Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, was trading near $63 a barrel at 10:29 a.m. in London. Prices were at more than $115 a barrel in mid-2014.

“Given the challenges within the oil and gas industry, it’s hard to understand why companies wouldn’t want the financial benefits diversity can bring,” the report said.

The South Korean and Japanese firms may have an added incentive to hire more women as both countries have a rapidly aging population. The top three Korean refiners, SK, GS Caltex Corp. and S-Oil, have all created daycare facilities at their headquarters.

Still, they have a long way to go. The proportion of female employees at SK has only marginally increased to 10.9 percent in the last 10 years, even as it provides longer maternity leave and flexible hours to working mothers.

Byun Hyejin, 27, joined SK five years ago as an engineer. Her predecessors told her stories of how they would drive far to find women’s bathrooms, a sentiment independently echoed by Takahashi.

While facilities for women have now improved, challenges remain. Like Ryu, Byun worries having children could affect her career, and refinery maintenance periods would be hard given she’d have to stay overnight. But even though initial dreams of ascending to head of a plant seem tough, she hasn’t lost hope.

“We don’t have any female engineers who have taken executive positions yet but I’m sure it will happen,” Byun said. “And I’d like to be one of them one day.”

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

A little over three years ago, I decided to make the leap.  After sitting in a comfortable chair, I decided enough was enough.  

 

I looked around me and while I am always surrounded by the most amazingly brilliant people -- engineers, scientists, accountants, lawyers, rig hands, and just about anyone you can think of, I was struck by the numbers and stereotypes that still plague our workforce. 

 

For years we've talked about it and it was time to do something about it.

 

When I leaped out of Big Oil, I decided to start a company focused on changing the way we see the energy industry and women and minorities and the roles they play in it.  I didn't set out to form another boys or girls club. I wanted to bring women and men together to talk about (and) take action on how we can drive change--- real change.   And I wanted that community to be public so it engages all walks of life to be engaged around energy.  Because we really need EVERYONE at this table.  Not just industry.

 

SEEING IS BELIEVINGNO MORE US AND THEM.

 

Pink Petro exists because we have to change the conversation.  We need social media to create a place to share those stories and discussions.  And we need a place to "see" that having a more equitable and inclusive workforce and supply chain is possible.  That means we have to go beyond feel-good events and work this new way of working and thinking into everything we see and do.  We have to embrace our stories -- the good, bad, and the ugly.  That's what Pink Petro does.  We encourage this discussion and are hopeful we're changing the way women and underrepresented people see our industry and how men play a role in that.  We NEED men at the table.  This isn't about US and THEM...it's about WE.

 

And Pink Petro is evolving too.  "Pink" "Petro" you say?  Sure, I get it.  But we have to start somewhere.  Since launching, we formed Experience Energy, a destination careers site to attract women and minorities into the field.  Seeing IS believing.

 

BIG OIL ISN'T ALL BAD.

 

Big Oil is a bad dirty word.  This isn't new though.  We've been talking about it for years, the energy transition is here BECAUSE of oil.  And Big Oil has been investing in the energy transition for years, while meeting today's current demands and the pressures of shareholders. It's a tall order.  But Big Oil powered us into the modern age and it will power us into the alternative age.  We cannot get there without it so let's stop making it BAD.  Yes there are better forms of energy ....more cleaner burning sources.  But that transition to a new value chain that's sustainable and affordable is taking time. 

 

The energy transition and building a more inclusive (and) diverse workforce aren't new topics.  But they have been buried topics....stories not sexy enough to make the news.  Until now.  And the past three years Pink Petro has played a significant role in getting this conversation and action moving forward.  Go google and see all of the press we've kicked up around women in energy and oil and gas . It's now a topic that's getting attention but it took time to get the conversation elevated.  And will take time to make change happen.

 

This is why I left.  I left to help change it.  Big oil won't be the same.  It can't. We're in a transition and we have been for a while.  It has been a slow moving one.  But now with a generation leaving and the next in line to step up and stepping up, we have a great opportunity to shape the new energy story.  It will have oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear and other forms of energy.  It will have women, minorities, and yes, white men in it.    The opportunity is so great and I'm optimistic for our future.  But it will take more conversations, more socialization, more action to create the new culture for energy.

 

To hear more on what I and others think about diversity in big oil, read and listen in here to the recent NPR report.

 

Image Credit:  

Workers pull pipes from an oil well in 2016 near Crescent, Okla. The oil industry wants to attract a new, more diverse generation of workers, but a history of racism and sexism makes that difficult.

J Pat Carter/Getty Images

1. BP CEO says Venezuela is his main geopolitical concern.

 

In an interview with CNBC on Monday (today), BP CEO Bob Dudley said his main geopolitical concern is not the middle east, as many people would think; but instead, he said it was Venezuela.

 

"I think most people would say the Gulf region, I actually say Venezuela," he said when interviewed at the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, "I think Venezuela is just defying economic gravity and I think that's a real wild card," he added.

 

Venezuela is of the biggest oil producers in the world, is beginning debt renegotiations with foreign investors today; However, many are very skeptical President Nicolas Maduro will succeed in these negotiations, increasing the risk of debt default.

 

2. Oil prices plateau based on news of continued US shale production.

 

Oil prices are losing momentum this week as the prospect of further increases in U.S. output undercut the ongoing OPEC production cuts.  The lack of confidence is in part due to the fact that US oil output has grown by more than 14 percent since the middle of 2016 to a record 9.62 million barrels per day (bpd).  And news today revealed that U.S. shale production for December will increase again for the 12th consecutive month, increasing by 80,000 bpd.

 

3. Energy giant Shell sells its stake in Woodside Petroleum for $3.5 billion.

 

Shell announced this morning that is has completed the sale of its 13.3 percent stake in Woodside Petroleum, one of Australia’s biggest stand-alone oil and gas producers.  Shell has held an investment stake in the Australian producer for over 30 years, but is divesting many of its assets in an attempt to focus on its core business.   

 

“This sale is another step towards the completion of our three-year, $US30 billion divestment program, which is an important part of our strategy to reshape Shell, to deliver a world-class investment case, and to strengthen our financial framework,” Shell CFO Jessica Uhl said.

Last week, NPR published an in-depth report on the state of diversity in oil and gas. 

 

"The U.S. oil industry is trying to find a new generation of workers in a country that is becoming more diverse. But a history of sexism and racism is making that difficult. The oil industry has struggled to solve its diversity problem despite having some big advantages. It's a wealthy industry accustomed to taking on complicated challenges (think deep-water offshore drilling and fracking). And oil and gas companies already have decades of experience operating all over the world in various environments. Still, the diversity problem persists..."

 

Correspondent Jeff Brady interviewed Pink Petro CEO and founder Katie Mehnert, among others for the piece and asked her specifically about what inspired her to launch Pink Petro. She told him about a fortuitous encounter she had while traveling for work. 

 

"A gentleman next to me said, 'What's a pretty young lady like you doing in a dark, dangerous business like oil?'" Mehnert says that she was too stunned to say anything at the time but that the experience changed the course of her career. She started a business called Pink Petro— an online community — and a career site for women in the oil industry.

Thank you to NPR and Jeff Brady for digging into the energy industry's inclusion problem. Awareness is half the battle because awareness is the first step on the way to action. 

 

Click here to read the full report. 

Most of us want to conserve energy for a couple reasons.  One, to reduce the power bill.  Nobody likes being surprised by a sky-high power bill every month.  And two, we want to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint.  Both are good reasons to conserve energy.  But, let’s make sure when we try to save energy, we’re really doing it, and not “thinking” we’re doing it…

 

Myth 1: If I turn off my appliances, I’m saving energy.

 

This is somewhat true.  Turning your appliances off will help cut the energy they use, but remember, electricity is still drawn from appliances that are left plugged in.  They actually have a fancy name for this.  It’s called “phantom” load.  So, here’s what you do to stop it:  Plug your appliances and electronics into a power strip.  That way with the flip of a switch you can “really” turn everything off.  And it’s easy to turn off multiple things at once.

 

Myth 2: My water heater and AC unit are the biggest energy suckers in my home.

 

They used to be.  But now due to modern improvements in HVAC equipment, furnaces and AC units only use around 48% of your home’s average energy consumption.  The real culprit? Electronic equipment, such as computers, gaming systems, and televisions.  These are what’s causing your electric bill to soar each month.  As electronic entertainment systems get bigger and more sophisticated each year, your electric bill will follow suit. 

 

Myth 3: Space heaters will help reduce your heating bill.

 

It seems logical to think you’re spending less by just heating one room, but that’s not always the case.  As we mentioned earlier, modern HVAC equipment is getting more and more efficient every year.  Many times your space heater is extremely inefficient!  And that means the amount of power and electricity it takes to power a space heater will cost you much more than simply letting your central air regulate the home’s temperature.

 

Myth 4: By closing the vents in unoccupied rooms, I’m cutting down on my energy costs.

 

This is a big trap a lot of people fall into.  Contrary to popular belief, closing vents in unoccupied rooms make your AC or heater use more energy!  Here’s why:  When you close vents, you actually affect the balance of your AC and cause it consume more energy to regulate this balance.  Central air units are built to distribute air evenly when you disrupt this balance, it can cause pressure to build up and cause duct leaks and wasted energy.

Mark your calendars everyone: HERWorld18 is set for International Women’s Day: March 8, 2018. And it’s going to be a good one.

 

Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL, is set to keynote, among other amazing speakers. Our theme? The New Energy Playbook — GRIT.

 

GRIT stands for Growth, Resilience, Innovation and Transition. 2017 has been one trying year, and if we didn’t already have those traits in spades, we certainly do now.

 

We took a look back at the stories our members have told us and found true stories of GRIT. Take a look, and get excited about HERWorld18! (For more on the event, click here.)

 

Growth

 

Suzette Colson is the head of settlements – NAGP at BP. At our HERWorld Connect event back in September, she spoke to our members and friends about how she has spent her life conquering fear.

 

“As a child, I was very fearful. I was scared of everything,” Colson said. “I went to college and got that damn accounting degree. You know, I don’t even know if it was something I wanted to do but other people wanted me to do it.”  

 

Then, at the age of 28, she decided to give it all up.

 

“I bought a sailboat with my boyfriend. I had no experience sailing before, and then we went and sailed in the Bahamas for nine months,” Colson said. “It was one of those things that was super important to me because I decided not to be afraid.”

 

Twenty years later, Colson was diagnosed with triple negative stage 2 breast cancer. She was just 48 years old.

 

“I was so scared again. But again, I came back to how I felt when I decided not to be fearful,” she said.

 

Resilience

 

Emily Fletty, the former director of talent management at Direct Energy, also spoke at our HERWorld Connect event in September. She talked about a time in her career when she was working for an energy company that went through three reorganizations in the span of 18 months.

 

“My boss had been forced out. My CEO, who was a very inspirational leader, had left the organization,” Fletty said.

 

It was looking like Fletty’s job could be next. 

 

“The stress started to get to be too much for me. I knew my role was likely to be eliminated, so I decided to leave that company,” she said. 

 

Fletty ended up taking three months off after she left the energy company, which wasn’t easy for her.

 

“I have a high need for security,” she said. “The first thing I did was I redid my budget. And I broke up with White House, Black Market.”

 

“It was sad. We both cried, but we’ve all moved on,” she said as the crowd laughed. “And my daughter and I have spent a lot of quality time together, but we did a lot of things that required physical activity. So just taking care of myself physically, which I had not made time for during this period of stress and turmoil.”

 

Innovation

 

Ally Cedeno is the senior dynamic positioning operator for a major drilling contractor. “I have often been the only woman on board or the only woman outside of catering,” she explains. But, Cedeno doesn’t necessarily consider that a bad thing—and has actually managed to use that to her advantage.

 

“I have been lucky to have some great male mentors and wouldn’t be where I am without those platonic relationships,” she adds.

 

But Cedeno also admits that there’s a shift happening—she’s seeing more and more women involved in the industry. “On the last ship I worked on, amazingly, there were women working all over the rig,” she says, “There were so many women, I don’t even know them all. I really enjoyed the camaraderie I found on that ship and the fact that I wasn’t an anomaly on board.”

 

With that in mind, Cedeno took steps to launch WomenOffshore.org. “The industry is evolving to become more diverse and inclusive,” she explains, “I founded WomenOffshore.org to report on the latest news in how the industry is changing, connect women to resources that foster long-term careers, and highlight the amazing, diverse group of women who work in operations. They all have a story to tell and hopefully their stories will inspire more women to pursue similar careers.”

 

Transition

 

Kate Sherwood is the senior director of grid modernization for 3M.

 

Shortly after obtaining her MBA, Sherwood decided to focus her career on two things she cared about: solar and women’s issues.

 

“A friend of a friend introduced me to the IT guy at a hippie little solar company in Berkeley: PowerLight,” she recalls, “So I accepted a 50 percent pay cut from strategy consulting to ‘carry a bag’ as a salesman.”

 

Sherwood freely admits that she had very little idea of how to be a successful salesperson when first making the move to PowerLight (now SunPower Corporation, Systems).

 

That somewhat intimidating entry to a new career field was compounded with a few other important facts: Sherwood was the only woman in sales, and just a few weeks after joining the company, she discovered she was pregnant with her first child.

 

Understandably, she was nervous about breaking the news to her executives, Dan Shugar and Howard Wenger. She feared that her sales manager would take her biggest account, Macy’s, away from her.

 

“To their credit, their response was quite the opposite,” she says. “They said, ‘If your clients don’t want to work with you because you’re pregnant, then we don’t want them as clients.’”

 

Sherwood credits that supportive and heartfelt response from her leaders as her motivation to throw herself into her work until the day her child was born — closing the biggest deal of its time there.

 

Got your own GRIT story to share! Tell us in the comments or email mary@pinkpetro.com

 

1. Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrests dozens of high-profile figures over the weekend.

 

Oil prices have reached a two year high, in large part due to Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman detaining multiple high-profile figures — including 11 princes, former ministers, and the billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.  The arrests are reported as a new anti-corruption probe headed by the kingdom.

 

The prince’s supporters maintain the arrest of princes is entirely about eradicating corruption, but others are speculating it serves a broader consolidation plan.  Even with the news, we don’t expect significant oil policy changes from the country any time soon.  Prince Mohammed bin Salman still appears strongly committed to the continued OPEC cuts into 2018 and moving ahead with the Aramco sale.

 

2. U.S. oversupply is coming to an end.

 

In 2017, we’ve seen a consistent and dramatic reduction in comparative inventory (C.I.).   Levels are down 159 mmb since February, approaching the 5-year average for the first time in almost three years.

 

What does that mean?  C.I. and WTI prices are inversely correlated.  That means when C.I. goes down, WTI prices go up.  If 2017 numbers continue, it’s projected that oil prices may be approximately $67 per barrel by the end of December.

 

3. AEP, one of the nation’s largest power companies plans to invest $1.8B in renewables over next three years.

 

In a move to provide cleaner energy solutions for its customers, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) has announced it plans to invest $18.2 billion in capital from 2018 through 2020 its regulated operations and new, renewable generation.  Of the investment, 72% will be focused on transmission and distribution operations.  

 

“Today, we are solely focused on making the right investments to be the energy company of the future, including modern, smarter infrastructure; advanced technologies; and cleaner generation,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and CEO. “Investments in our distribution and transmission systems will provide significant benefits to customers as we rebuild and enhance aging infrastructure; add advanced, more efficient technologies; and create a more robust and resilient system.”

Jen WelterThis summer I had the chance to connect with 75 female and male leaders that make up Lean In leaders.   It was at the Lean In conference I met Jen Welter (and I had the nerve to give My Kid's Fidget Spinner to Sheryl Sandberg

 

Jen is an impressive woman having been the first female coach in the NFL and she'll join us on March 8 2018 on the HERWorld18 stage in Houston.  I had the chance to catch up with Jen recently. 

 

Here's a tidbit of what you'll get a taste of in March on international women's day!

 

You were a football player before you were a coach. How did you start playing?

 

My first love was tennis; I wanted to go pro. But I’m only 5-foot-2, and my tennis coach told me I was too small ever to be at the top of the game. So I quit. I let him convince me that I couldn’t do it. In college, I found rugby. I’d loved football all my life, but never thought I could be allowed to play. Rugby was the next best thing, and I was pretty good. After college, I started playing flag football on the weekends and I got a call to try out for the Mass Mutiny women’s team. For a moment my fear of being too small almost stopped me, but I vowed not to let that happen again. I left my corporate job and fancy apartment to train full-time for the team.

 

You write that your first paycheck for playing professional football was for $12 – in a season where you won the championship. How can that be?

 

Female professional football players don’t make any money. Theoretically, there’s a profit-sharing agreement with the owners of the team, but there aren’t any profits, even when you’re the best in the league. In fact, women have to pay to play. My team and I all had day jobs to pay our bills, and then we would practice after work, shining our cars’ headlights on the field at the local park so we could see what we were doing. On the weekends we held car washes to raise money for uniforms or travel costs for away games. We did it for the sheer love of the game, and it taught me an important lesson: Play Priceless. That applies to any field. Remember that winning and success are not absolute terms. Winning can be the outcome of a competition, but it can also be the opportunity to compete against the odds. Being a professional is about the attitude you have and the value you assign yourself, not the value someone else assigns you. When you define your own metrics of success, then you truly define your power and how you are going to live your life.

 

Did you aspire to play in the NFL? 

 

Heck, no – I’m not crazy! I’m 5’2” and 130 pounds. I never intended to play football with men. But after winning four championships with the Dallas Diamonds, the team folded due to lack of funds. I got a call from The Texas Revolution, asking me to come to the first day of tryouts…and only the first day of tryouts. I was kind of offended. I thought it was a PR stunt. So I said, “No, if you want me to try out, I’ll do it – but you have to let me go through the whole process.” They agreed on the condition that I change my position from linebacker to running back—they said I’d get run over if I played linebacker. I was more scared to change positions than I was to take hits from the guys. But I knew I had to seize the opportunity. 

 

As a coach, you were giving orders to guys who weighed three times as much as you and were nearly twice as tall. How did you get them to listen to you?

 

I didn’t “get them” to do anything—but I was very fortunate to be able to earn the players’ respect. Supervet Lorenzo Alexander (with Buffalo as of this writing) set the tone early on. When one of the players asked him for a second opinion, he backed me up all the way. I did have to work to develop a relationship with the players, just like any coach—except, of course, it wasn’t quite like any coach. I had to show them that I wasn’t going to be put off by cursing or fart jokes, for example. It helped for them to see that I respected them as people, as well as players. I think that was an advantage I had over some of the other coaches. I could “read their eyes,” as Coach Arians used to say.

 

You write in the book about things that the business world could learn from football. Can you give some examples?

 

Appreciating diversity is a big one. A team relies on each player completing an individual job in order for plays to be successful. If all the players on a team were built the same way and had the same talents, we would get killed. Football just doesn’t work if all eleven people are identical, or if the coaches treat every player alike. Football is also good at rewarding talent—coaches have great metrics to evaluate performance, so it’s easy to decide who gets what opportunities. (Until recently, this was truer for players than coaches!) Finally, a good coach knows how to read someone’s eyes. A good boss does, too. People are motivated by different factors, and they need different kinds of coaching to excel. Reading the eyes is about knowing what your team member needs and trying to give them that, on or off the field.

 

At the start of the 2017 season, there were eight women coaching in the NFL. What do you make of it?

 

I’m thrilled for them, of course. There’s a long way to go before women have a fair chance to compete for the role of coach in the NFL, but it’s amazing the progress that’s been made in just two seasons, since I took the field at training camp in 2015. Meanwhile, I’ll keep holding training camps to ensure that young women are in a position to seize the opportunities that are waiting for them—or create their own opportunities, like I did, if need be.

 

Visit our HERWorld18 website for more details to sponsor, attend or host your own HERWORLD18!

OCGI reportIn the past five years, seven leading oil and gas companies invested more than $19 billion in renewables. Those companies also spent more than $3 billion on research and development in low emissions technologies, and on average, 21% of 2016 R&D budgets were focused on low emissions technologies.

 

Those findings were revealed last week when world climate and energy leaders gathered to discuss key outcomes and progress from the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative's third year of work. The results, detailed in the initiative's 2017 report, are outlined in full here.

 

In addition to major investments from the energy industry, greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1% in 2016, according to data from seven OGCI members. And over the past decade, emissions have fallen by 17%, with a 9% drop in the past five years.

 

This year, the OGCI also decided to analyze existing climate scenarios out to 2100. “The value of these scenarios is not so much to predict what the world will look like a century ahead, but to help identify possible drivers of change, as well as the technology and policy levers that are relevant to achieving different outcomes,” according to the report.

 

Here are some other key milestones:

 

  • The Oil & Gas Climate Initiative invested in a UK project that aims to develop a framework for the world’s first commercial-scale gas power plant with integrated CCUS and additional carbon transport and storage capacity. Potential impact: could remove 90% of carbon dioxide from the gas plant and store additional carbon dioxide from a range of other industries, if realized.
  • OCGI helped to create a standardized methodology to classify storage capacity for carbon dioxide. Potential impact: could help to accelerate investment in CCUS by providing confidence on availability of aquifers for storage.
  • OCGI invested in Solidia Technologies, a company that is using carbon dioxide in a novel concrete manufacturing process. Potential impact: could lower the carbon footprint of its concrete production by 70% and help nurture carbon dioxide recycling business models.
  • OCGI is providing financial and technical backing for two major global studies of methane emissions from the natural gas value chain, one with UN Environment and the other with Imperial College London. Potential impact: could help identify new emission reduction initiatives and provide a scientific foundation to inform policy.
  • OCGI invested in Achates Power, a company that is developing more efficient vehicle engines. Potential impact: could help lower greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.

 

2017 Women Who Mean Business

 

It never fails: Every year, when the Houston Business Journal announces its list of Women Who Mean Business, we are blown away. The women in this city are an inspiration. And the more we can show the world the powerful work women are doing in the world of business, the more likely we are to create a generation of women after us who are even more powerful.

 

This year, the list included more than a dozen women in energy. They were selected based on career achievement, contribution to company and city success, community involvement and leadership. Congrats to each and every one of you!

 

  • Laura Bellows, CEO of W. S. Bellows Construction * Top Woman Owned Business
  • Donna Cole, CEO and President of Cole Chemical  * Top Woman Owned Business  (Read our piece on Donna here.)
  • Deborah Byers, U.S. oil and gas leader and managing partner at EY
  • Tonja DeSloover, associate general counsel and head of litigation at Energy Transfer Partners
  • Michel Ecklund, deputy general counsel at Marathon Oil Corp.
  • Susan Ellerbusch, CEO at Air Liquide USA (Read the Pink Petro profile on Susan here.)
  • Danielle Hunter, executive vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief risk and compliance officer at C&J Energy Services
  • Regina Bynote Jones, general counsel of land rigs segment at Schlumberger
  • Kathy Lehne, CEO at Sun Coast Resources . * Top Woman Owned Business
  • Dorothy Marchand, managing director and head of oil and gas finance at BBVA Compass
  • Judy Marks, former CEO at Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business
  • Regina Mayor, principal and global sector head at KPMG
  • Dianne Ralston, executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at TechnipFMC
  • Laura Schwinn, CEO at C&C Reservoirs
  • Geeta Thakorlal, president at INTECSEA (Read a story on Pink Petro on Geeta here.)

 

Thank you to the Houston Business Journal for continuing to honor the amazing women in this community. You can read more about each of the honorees here.

oil rigHere are the top headlines from last week’s Oil Viewsletter from VANDA Insights. You can download the full report here.

 

Troika of factors push Brent toward $60 again. How stable are they?

Crude market sentiment has turned bullish in recent weeks on account of three major factors:

  • High degree of confidence that OPEC and it’s non-OPEC collaborators in the output cut deals will stay the course for as long as needed.
  • Escalation of armed conflict in Iraq between the Kurdish population and the federal government in Baghdad.
  • Growing certainty that U.S. shale is recovering but not rebounding in 2017.

Read more here

 

OPEC may not want an exit strategy

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih’s remarks at an investment conference in Riyadh last week signal an important shift in OPEC’s longer-term policy on actively managing the oil world’s supply-demand balance. “When we get closer to that (OECD oil stocks falling to their five-year average), we will decide how we smoothly exit the current arrangement, maybe go to a different arrangement to keep supply and demand closely balanced so we don’t have a return to higher inventories," he said. “The intent is to keep our hands on the wheel between now, and until we get to a balanced market and beyond, we are not going to do anything that is going to disrupt the path we are on.”

Read more here

 

Iraq: Fear factor trumps amid uncertainty

The situation in Iraq remains extremely fluid, but two elements have emerged clearly so far in the first tension-filled month after the Kurdish referendum for independence on Sept. 25:

  • The federal government in Baghdad and its armed forces have the upper hand in the battle for power and control of oil in northern Iraq.
  • The worst case scenario on oil supply disruption has not come to pass.

Read more here

 

Shale producers come to OPEC’s aid, unwittingly

While the U.S. oil drilling rig count has been sliding since August, the ratio of well completions in the shale basins has been creeping up. Third-quarter results and earnings calls of major US oil services companies in recent days including Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes confirm moderating investment appetite among producers. There is “...a growing focus from E&P companies on financial return and the need to operate within cash flow rather than the pursuit of production growth,” Schlumberger noted.

Read more here

Michelle Peavy“Get off your ask.”

 

If you know Michelle Peavy, you know that’s her slogan, her catchphrase, her mantra. She’s passionate about “the ask” because she’s seen it work, in her own career and in the careers of others.

 

“I am the queen of questions, and I believe how you become successful at doing anything is by questions and curiosity,” Peavy says. “That’s what made me successful at what I do.”

 

Peavy’s specialty is end-to-end recruiting. She’s been doing it for 25 years, 18 of those years with her own business, Rimi & Company. She works for companies in both Canada and the U.S. and serves as a LinkedIn consultant, teaching individuals and corporations to optimize the functionalities of the social networking site.

 

Now, she is bringing that expertise to Pink Petro and our sister career site, Experience Energy, in her new role: Director of Cool Careers. Her mission is to connect top energy companies with a powerful and diverse pool of talent.

 

Peavy met Pink Petro founder & CEO Katie Mehnert three years ago, when she saw Mehnert speak at an event.

 

“I showed up and I said, ‘I want to work with this woman one day. I didn’t know how it was going to happen,” Peavy recalled. “Here’s the key: We built a relationship with each other before we did anything together.

 

Relationships are core to Peavy’s style. Her friends and family call her a “master connector.”

 

“I get an adrenaline rush. I get such pleasure in making connections,” she said. “It’s not just about who I am in recruiting; it’s who I am as a person.”

 

The downturn has led to tough times for the energy workforce. Companies are hiring, but their talent needs are becoming much more specific, and the hiring process increasingly digital. That’s created a sweet spot for Experience Energy, Peavy said.

 

“Women, energy and really powerful talent — they’re all gathering together in one place, and that’s Experience Energy,” she said.

 

Originally from Canada, Peavy moved to Houston in 1995. She’s been in recruitment ever since, but she’s also established herself as an actor, a professional salsa dancer, an international motivational speaker and a singer. She’s produced her own CD and sings the National Anthem at the occasional Houston Rockets game. She’s written a book, “The Freeway of Life,” and is obsessed with fitness. She’s at the gym six days a week, without fail.

 

It sounds like a lot to juggle, but Peavy doesn’t feel that way.

 

“I think when you love something you just make time for it,” she said.

 

And opportunities come your way when “get off your ask and get specific about what you want," she said.

 

She uses pizza to illustrate what she means. When you order pizza, the restaurant asks you what kind of pizza you want. And you tell them, in very specific terms: pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms — nothing else. The restaurant, in turn, delivers exactly what you asked for.

 

“Translate what you want on your pizza to what kind of job you want or what kind of person do I want to hire,” Peavy said. “I think people know what they want in their head. I don’t think they know how to verbalize it and use the right keywords.”

 

Peavy said women in particular tend to struggle with being specific in asking for what they want. But it works. She’s seen it.

 

She had one client who wanted to change her hours to work only from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and limit her travel to 20 percent. The woman thought she had no shot at finding a job with such specific requirements. But when she asked a previous employer if they would consider the arrangement, the company said yes.

 

“She could have that because she was specific,” Peavy said. “So get off your ask.”

 

Want to talk careers with Michelle? Tune in Nov. 16 for a very special Coach’s Corner, where Michelle will share her tips and tricks for finding great careers and top talent in the energy industry. Open to the public. Register here

 

For more about Michelle, check out her website here.

1. Oil hits the $60 mark again.

 

For the first time since 2015, Brent crude pushed past the $60/barrel level last Friday.  And as of Monday morning, it seems to be staying there.  In the Asia trading on Monday it hit $60.69.  The West Texas Intermediate, the US standard, it’s still not quite to $60/barrel, but it seems to be trending in that direction, sitting at roughly $54/barrel currently.

 

2. Big Oil CEO’s believe OPEC supply cut extension is a good idea.

 

OPEC members seem to be agreeing on the idea of extending their production cuts for another 9 months.  And if Russia is on board, that means 1.8 million barrels a day off the market for most of next year.  But, they haven’t made up their mind yet, and with the decision still up in the air, major oil CEO’s are chiming in and urging OPEC to extend output cuts beyond March arguing "huge volatility" in the energy market.

 

Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne was asked if he feels it’s necessary for OPEC to continue the cuts, and his response was, "Of course they need it."  He continued, “It is better to keep a stable policy and I think the OPEC and non-OPEC agreement is working efficiently and should continue,"

 

BP CEO Bob Dudley agreed, “I heard what Patrick (Pouyanne) said about the volatility of oil and the factors here and I couldn't agree with him more … I think this is the world we are living in.  Short term exuberance does not characterize I think any of the CEO’s that I know in oil and gas right now."

 

3. Iraqi forces continue to secure oil wells from Kurdish forces.

 

The turmoil in northern Iraq continues as Iraqi forces continue to gain ground and reclaim oil wells from Kurdish forces in the Nineveh Province.  Iraqi federal forces have secured 40 oil wells so far from Kurdish Peshmerga forces as of Saturday. 

 

Army Major Hammam al-Abdali reported, “Iraqi joint forces have managed to assert control over 40 out of 44 oil wells in recent military operations in the Zummar district of Tal Afar [west of provincial capital Mosul],”

 

Energy and construction have a lot in common. Both have a long way to go before they reach gender parity in their ranks, duking it out for second to last and last place, respectively. But we’ll save that conversation for another day.

 

Today we’re talking about similar struggles. KPMG has released yet another piece of compelling thought leadership: its 2017 Global Construction Survey, which collected responses from 201 senior leaders, including 40 percent who are energy-focused. That survey found that construction is having a hard time embracing innovation and new technologies. A focus on governance, risk and controls hasn’t yielded a subsequent improvement in quality and safety. And construction significantly underestimates “the human element” and its effect on project delivery.

 

Sound familiar?

 

KPMG is offering a path forward. The survey this year is titled Make it, or break it: Reimagining governance, people and technology in the construction industry. The focus is on helping the industry break current molds and reimagine its approach to governance, people and technology.

 

Why does this matter for energy?

 

Given the similarities across industries, energy could find a new path forward in the survey and its findings.

 

Equally as important, engineering and construction are part of the value chain for energy. And innovation in the former stands to benefit the latter — in a big way.

 

Download the full report here.