Tech Leaders

Gabrielle Guerre, Reservoir Engineer, Ryder Scott

The technical leaders section’s main objective is to interview recognized individuals who have contributed in developing the current technological landscape of our industry. However, in order to recognize the technical value of the younger generations, we are including a complementary interview with Gabrielle Guerre, who is an emerging technical leader that is willing to share her fresh insights on what it takes to thrive in the technical side of the oil and gas industry.—Max Medina and Marie Van Steene Editors, Technical Leaders


What motivated you to join the E&P industry?

I joined the E&P industry mainly because I have family members already in the industry, particularly my father. So I had a lot of guidance and encouragement to pursue the industry early on and have never regretted that decision once. It’s a wonderful industry to be in.

You are very involved in volunteer activities, notably with SPE and the Young Professionals program. Have you found it difficult to find time to volunteer in addition to your daily work?

Overall, I would say no. The only time I felt volunteering was difficult for me was the first time I performed a specific task. When writing an expense report or planning a conference for the first time, I really wasn’t sure of the amount of time needed for each task. Once a person goes through that process and understands not only what needs to be done but their own pace, it becomes much easier to learn how much time you can donate to volunteering. Where most people struggle is they try to do too much at once and don’t realize how involved some tasks can become. If they just stick with it, most volunteer activities are easier the second time around.

What do you think are the differences of working for a national oil company (NOC) vs. an international oil company (IOC)?

I think that in an IOC you will see more assets, types of reservoirs, etc. over the globe than if just working in one country. So I would suggest that means you could potentially have more diversity and learning with an IOC, and therefore more options for your career. On the other hand, operating a single great field for an extended period with an NOC would provide a deep knowledge of that field. You would know every detail of the well’s life and it would be easier to pick up patterns and trends because you would have a preset knowledge from operating the field for such a long time. Every company is trying to find and develop as much as they can. I don’t think that the desire to be the best really changes between NOCs and IOCs.

What is your view on the relationship between our industry and the environment?

Growing up, I remember being taught to leave something the way that you found it. I think the same principle applies to the environment. I think there has been a healthy debate over the years that has resulted in both industry and governments having a higher respect for the environment, along with an improved understanding of the benefits energy has given to our quality of life. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I think the highlight for me is gaining respect from others in the industry. I obviously don’t have much experience, but I appreciate the people with whom I have worked who have valued my opinion and have come to respect my work.

What do you enjoy most  about your job? 

I like the idea that what I do matters on a global level. Energy is so important to the world economy and our lifestyles. I help fulfilling the need, and that’s a great feeling to me.

What issues do you care most about in your work and your life? What advice would you give your fellow young E&P professionals?

From a work perspective, I want to be technically as good as I can be at whatever it is that I do. From an advice perspective, I’ve learned that the possibilities are far and wide, so I would not get hung up on the little things. From a life perspective, travel, travel, travel. It’s so awesome to visit another country, but remember to always be safe! 


Gabrielle Guerre is a reservoir engineer with Ryder Scott. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University in 2005. Upon graduation, Guerre worked as reservoir engineer for Exxon Mobil. After working on the south-Texas gas fields, she managed a waterflood and steamflood project in California. Guerre is an active member of SPE. She received the SPE Regional Outstanding Young Member Award in 2008 and recently has been named to the New Faces of Engineering by the National Engineers Week Foundation.


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