A Conversation with Angela Dobb
Angela is part of a dual career couple, with one daughter, two dogs and a pony
32 years industry experience working for operators and consultancies
Currently a Senior Development Geologist at Oil & Gas Authority
Previous roles include JV Manager, Asset Subsurface Manager and Lead Development Geophysicist amongst others
Angela enjoys spending time walking her dogs especially on the beach and watching her daughter partake in many of her sporting activities
1. What attracted you to studying Geology and pursue a career in the Oil & Gas Industry?
I have always had a love of rocks! My mum studied O Level Geology at night school when I was child and often took me on field trips to look at fossils and rock formations. I studied Geography and Geology at school, I had an amazing teacher who inspired so many of us. He made the subject fun and easy to learn. When I was deciding what degree to do I wanted to study something I would enjoy… and Geology had the advantage that I also found it easy! After my undergraduate degree I completed an MSc at Imperial College. I had fully intended to go straight into a PHD, but a delay in funding meant I accepted an offer to join the company who I had initially contacted to ask for seismic data to use in my MSc studies. The funding came through 6 months later, at the same time I accepted a job with Robertson Group to work on exploration & development projects within the oil & gas industry. So, I decided to stay in employment!
2. What have you found the most rewarding in your career to date?
Two occasions stand out in particular, one for working within a team, and another for a team I lead. The first was while I worked within a busy operational subsurface team supporting Hutton and Murchison. We drilled ten wells, back to back on Murchison. It was great fun, working with a brilliant team. We finished the last well the month before I went on maternity leave – it was great to see it through to completion.
The second time I found really rewarding in my career was during my time at TAQA when I was working as Asset Development Manager, leading the subsurface team supporting North Cormorant. The team were amazing and I was privileged to lead them. We worked really well together during an exciting time appraising and developing the Cormorant East field.
3. How do you balance your professional and personal commitments – any advice for others?
I wish I had the perfect answer for this but I don’t! I aim to keep work at work, and be present when I am at home with family. But occasionally when working in an operational role this is just not possible. Unfortunately wells never seem to penetrate a reservoir at 10.00am on a Tuesday, its more likely to be 3.00 am on a Saturday!
Keith and I work as a team and split the duties. Our daughter has had many sporting hobbies and in the past - we would split these. Dad does football and golf, I would take her to all her hockey and rugby activities. Other things we alternate – prize giving etc.
4. Do you have any advice for others seeking to further their careers in the oil and gas industry?
Be authentic. Join a company, and a job where you feel comfortable to be your whole self in the workplace as this is when you will perform the best, be the happiest and grow.
Sideways moves can allow you to grow and progress further so should not be discounted.
Keep learning – everyday is a school day. Remain adaptable and flexible to continually improve. Seek sponsors within your organisation, and mentors to support your own development.
Advice for those who also may be technical female colleagues in our industry is be visible! We need it to be seen as the norm for others to have a female manager, female Technical Authority etc. This is especially for younger females to aspire to, but also to normalise it so that female leaders are not “special”.