All in the Family

Perhaps the best compliment paid to a profession is when a child follows his parent’s footsteps into it. Many of those currently working in the oil and gas industry had parents or grandparents who also were part of the industry, and many more daughters are now following their fathers into the profession. JPT put out a call on social media to those who had more than one generation involved in oil and gas engineering. Here are some of their stories.

 Marius Stamnes, Sales Manager, Scale Protection

Marius’ father, Tom Stamnes, has worked for several rig companies as well as ­Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Halliburton. “My dad worked his way up from roustabout to assistant driller and, later, (positions such as) directional driller and supervisor. I was always fascinated by the fact that when we picked up my father from work, it was often at the local airport. He was a huge inspiration for my choice to study petroleum engineering, and provided me with firsthand updated and relevant knowledge about drilling and completion throughout my studies at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. … The most inspiring thing about working in the industry for me is the vast opportunities it presents in terms of interdisciplinary work as well as the possibility to work all over the world with different nationalities.”

 Amber Voithofer, President, Elite Optimization

“I’m third-generation oilfield but first with a petroleum engineering degree. Grandpa and dad worked in the oilfield in Alberta as wellsite supervisors, and I started there too, working safety, then to workover rigs before going to school for petroleum engineering. My dad was not too happy when his little girl wanted to be a roughneck but, after a few years and having worked side by side, we really bonded and we share a passion for the oilfield.”

 Kyla Gau, Lead Production Engineer, HEAL Systems

Kyla’s father, Donald Cameron, retired as vice president of environment, health, safety, and risk management at Spectra Energy. “My dad was overjoyed to hand down his boxes and boxes of knowledge and books! It’s also been nice to bounce ideas off of him or ask for opinions or advice. Growing up, I wasn’t interested in engineering at first. But science and math were my strengths in school and, in first year general science at university, I saw the connection and made the switch. My dad had had a very successful career as an engineer and I wanted to get a degree that would give me a good job and future like that also.”

 Raaz Pathan, Stim Field Engineer, BJ Services

Raaz Pathan, who graduated from university in May 2017, is a stim field engineer at BJ Services and a member of the SPE Permian Basin Section. His father, Saeed Pathan, is senior quality manager, pressure pumping for Baker Hughes, a member of the SPE Gulf Coast Section, and has been in the industry for more than 30 years. “The biggest reason I went into petroleum engineering was my father. He would talk about his experiences and showed me around. He was the inspiration, and then when I went to the Offshore Technology Conference in 2013, I was really impressed with the technology and how people were sharing ideas. I got interested even more when I took engineering classes in college and once I was on the job, that transformed me.”

Saeed Pathan, left, and Raaz Pathan have attended the Offshore Technology Conference together the past 4 years.

 Chuck Lohn, Chief Executive Officer, PetroSuite

“My grandfather, Earl Lohn, started drilling oil wells back in the early 1900s, in Pennsylvania and then followed the business to east Texas.

“My father, Cecil Lohn, joined the Air Force in World War II ... (and then) and worked his way through Texas A&M. He ended up taking a job with Halliburton in one of their labs in Louisiana, working with various rubber compounds to help develop the first set of downhole packers. He climbed the corporate ladder and retired as a regional vice president for Halliburton in Houston.

“When I was growing up I was an avid climber (and) dreamed of traveling around the world and saw the oil and gas business as my ticket to achieving this. So I ended up getting a degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M.” He eventually worked for Unocal in Thailand. “We drilled the fastest wells ever in Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Malaysia. But drilling the technical limit had its challenges so I had an idea to move all of our operations procedures to a cloud-based system to let everyone know what is happening in real time. We formed a company 9 years ago to develop a cloud-based system to manage operations called PetroSuite.

“Throughout the years, we have all been members of SPE. At one time my father was the president of the SPE (Gulf Coast) section in Houston. SPE was the ‘glue’ that held all of us together over the years.”

Chuck Lohn is third-generation oil industry and now CEO of PetroSuite.

All in the Family

01 March 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 3