Christina Karapataki

Early Stage Technology Investments, Schlumberger

The Petroleum Equipment & Services Association’s Emerging Leaders Committee prepares high-performing individuals for their role as the next generation of industry leaders. The committee develops events and training seminars, including leadership forums, an executive coaching program, and Oil & Gas 101.

PESA interviewed Emerging Leaders Committee member Christina Karapataki (Early Stage Technology Investments, Schlumberger) about her vision for the industry.

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?

My background is in chemical engineering, and very early on in my studies I was fascinated by how reliable energy supply affects every aspect of the economy and our lives. Given the importance of oil and gas in the energy mix, I wanted to understand how the oil and gas industry works and how I could contribute to this sector.

What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?

I joined the industry in 2012 when oil prices were high and the industry was on a growth path. It is fair to say that my first impression of the industry was different than the environment we are in today. I quickly learned about the cyclical nature of the business and how large companies react to changes in the market and regulation. This has driven consolidation in the industry, but has also brought into focus the need for greater efficiency in operations.

What have you found to be the most surprising aspect of the industry?

Since I joined the industry, I have developed an appreciation for the technical complexity and advanced scientific expertise that is required to extract hydrocarbons. The technological breakthroughs that allow us to operate in a safe and reliable way in remote environments continue to surprise me on a daily basis.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?

The most challenging part so far has been managing the downturn and the shift in priorities that this may entail. However, the most rewarding part of my job is that, regardless of the downturn, business segments want to continually improve and invest in technology that will help them operate more efficiently and push the envelope of their current capabilities.

Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?

I would hope to see more collaboration in the energy industry and more activities that promote efficient, safe and environmentally responsible technology in the oil field. I would also like to see the industry recruit and retain young talent. I believe that will help build the foundation for the future.

What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?

Technology innovation is how this industry will advance. I hope to further contribute in the sourcing and adoption of new technology that can help the industry operate with higher efficiency and productivity. Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking. In my role, I get to meet entrepreneurs that are working to introduce new technology into the energy sector. Their perseverance and conviction impress me every time. It is hard not to be motivated by all the technology out there and the potential impact it could have on the industry.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?

I am excited to see how this industry can evolve in the future. With technologies such as automation, robotics and data analytics, I would expect to see efficiency improvements and potentially new ways of operating in the oil field. I am particularly interested to see where these new advancements will take us.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?

Oil and gas is a global industry with many exciting career opportunities. Be open to new experiences, be prepared to travel and be ready to learn new skills at a fast pace.


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