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PESA High-Performer Spotlight: Sofia Barrios, VP Measurement Products, TechnipFMC

Sofia Barrios, Business Development Director, Measurement Solutions, TechnipFMC

Sofia Barrios, VP Measurement Products, TechnipFMC

VP Measurement Product

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
Being born and raised in Venezuela, the typical dream of many students was to work in oil and gas. I was always inspired by the fact that my country had the biggest reserves of oil in the world and that many international companies were providing great development opportunities at that time. That is when I became very focused on entering the industry and developing my career.

What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
In 2001 when I entered the industry, it was a very wealthy environment where companies were concerned about getting the oil fast despite the price. As we transitioned to the downturn in 2014, our industry has matured significantly to focus on efficiency and cost reduction.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
In today’s market with the crude oil price environment, finding ways to increase profitability while reducing cost and increasing efficiency is a big a challenge for most companies in the sector today.

However, I also find it very rewarding to be a contributor to big things for the world. The reality is the world needs power for everything: homes, heat, transportation, food etc. and oil and gas make up about 55% of the global energy used today. This will continue for the next 20 years or so. Being a part of this contribution is very meaningful and rewarding to me.

Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
I hope to see the industry producing oil and gas with fewer emissions or zero-emissions altogether, with less of a carbon footprint, at a lower cost and more efficient. As mentioned previously, the world needs more energy, but I am hoping to see success confronting this challenge. I also hope to see the industry capitalizing on digitalization to improve efficiency and reduce cost. I believe our industry is moving from conventional practices to a performance-powered approach where digitalization will play a big role.

What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
I see myself playing a key role in the energy transformation, driving changes to achieve emission reductions and leveraging digital initiatives to achieve efficiency and cost reduction. I also see myself inspiring, attracting and mentoring younger generations to join our journey and especially inspiring gender diversity in our workplace as well ascontributing to the community in representation of the industry and the company I work for.

How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
PESA has been a great platform for growth. I am currently part of the Emerging Executives Committee and and have graduated from the PESA Executive Leadership program. Both opportunities have been fantastic in terms of leadership development as well as a great opportunity to connect and expand my network with wonderful professionals in the industry.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
I believe there is always a lot to learn from every person, and this has been the case with every amazing person I have met during my 20-year career in oil and gas. I have met people from different backgrounds, countries, cultures, disciplines and professional levels, from C-Suite executives to wonderful people who excel in the day-to-day operations. Some of the people who have influenced my thinking significantly are all the successful women that have, in one way or another, coached and mentored me during my career. They are all a true inspiration for me, especially when I see them flourish in an industry where gender diversity can be improved.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
I am excited about contributing to all the changes our industry is facing. As I already mentioned, working towards achieving client success while reducing emissions and leveraging digitalization to increase efficiency and reduce cost is a great challenge. I am also excited to see that many operators are working towards diversifying the energy sources.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
I would say that despite being a cyclical industry, it is a very rewarding place to work. There is opportunity for development, but it is also a great place to learn how to navigate through complex situations.

What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
I wish people realized how important oil and gas is to the world. Everything this industry does is intrinsically linked with improvement of quality of life. Our industry moves the world economy and provides many of us access to a good life with electricity, food, power, travels, cars and communication and all this is possible because of the amazing work our industry does in bringing energy to the world. Additionally, our industry is going further by working to reduce greenhouse emissions and its carbon footprint and to diversify the sources of energy.

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