The X-Factor in PE: Women in the Industry
- Judy Feder (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 57 - 59
- 2019. Copyright is held partially by SPE. Contact SPE for permission to use material from this document.
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Special Section: The Value and Future of Petroleum Engineering
Employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. There is a strong movement within the industry and among the companies that comprise it to ensure that as this growth occurs, the percentage of women in the global workforce and in senior positions also grows. Increased gender diversity has been proven to benefit organizational performance through higher-quality teamwork, improved problem solving, greater creativity, and lower-risk decision making, as exemplified by the women interviewed for this article.
Vicki Hollub, Occidental Petroleum
Vicki Hollub, president and chief operating officer of Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), is the first female CEO of a major US oil company. She was appointed CEO in April 2016 during a severe downturn in the industry.
Under Hollub, Oxy cut production costs in response to falling crude prices, but decided not to lay off employees, and focused instead on existing core operations in the Middle East, the US, and Colombia, and selling low-yield fields in the US and Middle East.
Diana Hoff, Antero Resources
Diana Hoff, vice president of operations for Antero Resources, says petroleum engineering has been a lifelong connection to her “pumper Grandpa” and a life’s work with meaning.
Hoff began her career as a production engineer for Chevron in the US Gulf of Mexico, often supervising jobs such as wireline interventions and stimulations herself on site. Starting in production gave her the opportunity to interact with diverse groups across reservoir engineering, geoscience, drilling and completions, and joint ventures, and built a solid foundation in understanding the interactions among these groups and the needs of each to be effective.
Karen Olson, Southwestern Energy
Karen Olson, technology director for Southwestern Energy, is recognized for leading industry efforts to manage water use and become better stewards of fresh water. Her SPE Distinguished Lecture, “Freshwater Neutral: Managing Water Use and Giving Back to the Environment,” is based on her leading role in Southwestern Energy’s ECH2O— Energy Conserving Water—initiative to replenish or offset each gallon of fresh water used in hydraulic fracturing operations through conservation practices, projects, and technologies.
Soma Chakraborty, Baker Hughes
Soma Chakraborty is engineering technical leader for Baker Hughes, a GE company, an expert in nanotechnology, and a pioneer in its application in oilfield operations. Chakraborty, who holds a PhD in chemistry from the India Institute of Technology in Mumbai and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in nanotechnology at Rice University, joined Baker Hughes in 2008.
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