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2017

We want 2018 to be your best year yet. 

 

So we're taking action and bringing you our first-ever Jumpstart Series — a collection of three courses designed to help you build confidence, learn how to ask for what you want and make the right connections to build a successful and rewarding career. 

 

Consider it training ground for HERWorld18, our annual conference and the perfect opportunity to connect with energy leaders around the world. 

 

The series offers multiple opportunities to attend live or on-demand: 

 

The Art of the Ask 

Featuring: Pink Petro's Director of 'Cool' Careers Michelle Peavy

Focus: Learn how to "get off your ask" and get specific about what you want — so you can go out and get it. 

Dates: Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. CST (online) and Jan. 24 at 11:30 a.m. CST (online)  

 

The Art of Presence 

Featuring: Business style wear expert Marilynn Barber 

Focus: Learn how to present yourself so you are always projecting confidence and leaving the impression you want. 

Dates: Feb. 7 at 11:30 a.m. CST (in-person at TechSpace Houston) and Feb. 22 at 11:30 a.m. CST (in-person at TechSpace Houston)

 

The Art of Connecting

Featuring: Pink Petro CEO and Founder Katie Mehnert 

Focus: Learn how to make the right connections to accelerate your career and create a powerful community of your own.

Dates: Feb. 1 at 11:30 a.m. CST (in-person at TechSpace Houston) and Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. CST (online)

 

Register today and make an investment in YOU! 

 

For a listing of January events, click here

For all February events, click here

1. Venezuela appoints Manuel Quevedo, a former housing minister with no known energy experience, to run the country’s deteriorated oil industry.

 

Venezuela's new energy minister will bring more military officials into the senior ranks of state oil company PDVSA as he looks to shake up the company and root out corruption.  However, from the outside looking in, others are not onboard with the new minister and his appointment.  Industry analysts and sources were surprised by the appointment of someone with no known energy experience, and feel it’s a bad omen for the country's already weakened oil industry.

 

Quevedo takes the reigns from two industry veterans and his road will not be easy.  He will have to tackle corruption, scandals and figure out how to dig Venezuela out of it’s deep recession and debilitating U.S. sanctions.

 

2. OPEC meeting set for Thursday.

 

OPEC members and Russia are headed to Vienna for a meeting on Thursday – the main topic on the agenda will be whether to extend output cuts beyond March next year.  Most are confident they will extend cuts, the question is becoming how long will they extend the cuts?  Analysts believe the market is positioning for a nine-month extension from the deal's current expiration in March.

 

Russia is the wildcard in the equation.  "If Russia is not willing to sign up again to extend the cut, people fear that we're going to get something shorter than anticipated," said Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets' Global Head of Commodity Strategy.

 

3. Warm weather has natural gas prices lower than usual.

 

Natural gas prices have been trending down over the last couple months and reached a one-month low Friday.  The main cause for lower prices are the forecasts for warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the U.S. 

 

Based on trading from the past week, the market is now indirectly saying that they believe the risk of a cold winter is minimal at this point.  Jan and Feb 2018 contracts are trading as if the warm temperatures we’re seeing for the first-week of December will persist.

2017 has been one of the most challenging years of my life.  

 

This year and the few that have preceded it have tested many of us —  big time.

I suppose change — really, really big change — is like that. It rattles you, throws you off. If you survive it, you don’t get back on track — you get on a new, more successful track.

But you’ve got to survive it first.

It all comes down to our theme for the HERWorld Global Energy Forum this year: The New Energy Playbook — GRIT.

GRIT stands for growth, resilience, innovation and transition. I am in the thick of transition. It took resilience to get here and that resilience will see me through. I’ve got my eyes trained on growth and, best of all, innovation as we head into 2018.

There’s a reason that I’m coming through these challenges stronger than I was before, and that’s because of you. All of you. This community of energy leaders around the world is the most amazing community in the world. When I have doubted myself, you have reminded me of my power, passion and purpose. When I have struggled with how to be strong when I felt anything but, you reminded me that authenticity is paramount and vulnerability isn’t a bad thing.

In the United States this week, we are celebrating Thanksgiving, a time of year when we give thanks.  Thinking about what I’m grateful for this year made me realize: I’m grateful for this community and everything it represents.

We are creating a new future for the energy industry, and that mission is critical. I truly believe that inclusion is going to transform energy for the better, and we simply cannot get there alone. It takes all of us, working together, to get where we need to go. And the fact that you all believe as strongly as I do keeps me going, day after day. No matter how tough things get.

Thank you for joining me on this incredible journey. I couldn’t do any of this without you, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support.

 

Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you and your families.

 

P.S. We'd love to hear from you! What are you thankful for this year? Post your thoughts in the comments below or tag Pink Petro on Facebook and Twitter! 

1. Keystone pipeline shuts down after spilling over 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota.

 

The Keystone oil pipeline spilled more than 5,000 barrels of oil last week before TransCanada workers shut it down.  Not the best news, coming just days before operators hope to secure a key permit for a sister project.

 

TransCanada released a statement late last week saying the leak was detected along a stretch of pipeline roughly 35 miles south of a pumping station in Marshall County, South Dakota.

 

They estimated just over 5,000 barrels of oil leaked out of the line before it went offline. The pipeline was shut down within 15 minutes of discovering the leak, and TransCanada is currently working with state regulators and the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to assess the situation.

 

2. Nigeria is showing signs of recovery.

 

The third quarter showed promising economic growth for Nigeria, as oil output rose to the highest since the beginning of last year.  The GDP of Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude producer, increased nearly 1.5% in Q3 compared to last year.  This rebound is fueled by their oil production increase to 2.03 million barrels, a revised estimate of 1.87 million barrels a day in Q2.  This is great news for the African country as they strive to recover from 2016 - their worst annual economic slump in 25 years.

 

3. Oil slips as investors prepare for OPEC meeting next week.

 

Oil prices are down today, continuing the recent volatility ahead of the OPEC meeting next week.  Brent crude futures LCOc1 are down 84 cents at $61.86, or 1.4%.  U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 70 cents, or 1.2%, to $55.85 a barrel.

 

OPEC and Russia will be meeting next week to decide whether or not they will continue the supply cuts, and while most feel the cuts will continue, there’s still uncertainty in the air.  “It is widely believed that OPEC together with 10 non-OPEC countries will roll over their production for the whole of 2018, although Russia is holding its cards close to its chest,” PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said.

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.”