Tales Of Travel And Professional Bliss (Page 1 of 2) 1 Jun 2011

Karen Hibbard is a young professional who will go far and is already making waves. She is currently on a two year secondment from Woodside as a reservoir engineer with Senergy in Aberdeen, UK, which began in April.

In her new role Hibbard will be working on projects of different sizes, for various operators and will have the exposure to fields in the North Sea, Russia and Africa.

Prior to the secondment she spent two years working as the corporate reserves coordinator for Woodside in Perth.

"That was a great opportunity for me to step outside of a technical reservoir engineering role looking at daily production and modelling with an overview of all of Woodside's assets and business strategies," she said.

"I have worked with some great people across the investor relations and finance divisions as well as the engineers in each of our assets. Work was pretty hectic in the summer months, but getting it finalised each year was a great feeling for myself, and for the reservoir engineers involved too.

Her move to Scotland involves working in a much smaller office in Banchory, about 30 km from Aberdeen, where she is loving the 'sense of community'.

"It's a lot quieter than Woodside," she said.

"I have worked at Woodside since joining through the graduate program in 2003, so this is my first chance to see up close how other companies do business."

She studied oil and gas engineering and commerce at the University of Western Australia, graduating in 2002.

The resources industry appealed to her because it plays a pivotal role in WA's economy. She was initially aiming for a career in mining, but after summer work for an oil and gas consultancy firm she thought that offshore platforms and drilling 4 km beneath the sea floor were 'more amazing' than an underground mine or open hole pit. So far she has not been disappointed.

Hibbard is now an advocate for the industry and recommends it to others. She said the sheer size of the industry means there is always going to be something new to learn and different areas to become involved in.

Woodside sent Hibbard to Tokyo to complete her MBA in 2007, which has increased her interest and involvement in the business aspects of the industry.

Her near-term career goal, is to lead bigger teams and get involved in larger projects during the next couple of years.

Her husband is also based in Aberdeen, and working in the oil and gas industry.

"We have an appreciation for each others work commitments," Hibbard said.

Now that Hibbard is in Europe she can not wait to travel more. She travelled through the stunning Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur in the southeast of France before she started work and hopes to do more hill walking and 'bag a few Munros [mountains over 3000 ft] in Scotland'.

Some of the more simple delights of travelling, included seeing red and white toadstools, just as they are drawn in storybooks.