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Leigh Ann Russell: BP Wells VP on Market Downturn

Written by:

Katie Mehnert

About Leigh Ann

She joined the oil and gas industry in 1997 after graduating from Aberdeen University with a degree in mechanical engineering. She worked for several industry-leading companies before joining BP as a completion engineer for BP’s Clair field, in the North Sea, in 2005.

Since her first day in the industry, Leigh-Ann has lived by a powerful mantra.

“Work as though you will live forever, live as though you will die today.”

Having a bucket list helps Leigh-Ann prioritize her work and family during her busy life. She has already accomplished more than half of it, including running a marathon (that’s 26.2 miles), obtaining her skipper’s license, and traveling with her family.

On the market downturn

The downturn we are experiencing has happened before, and it will happen again. We asked Leigh-Ann to comment on what she believes is different from previous downturns. She indicated that, “A significant difference is the U.S. shale revolution. Although U.S. shale oil accounts for less than 5 percent of the global oil market, the rapid growth in the U.S. shale oil was the key factor driving the collapse in oil prices last year. BP was one of the first companies to anticipate the decrease in oil prices."

“The development of technology allows us to do many things more efficiently and on larger scales than ever before. The oil market has changed very significantly over the past 10-15 years. The challenges lie in connecting resources with demand. "

Leigh Ann Russell

She closed by saying, “During this low price environment, we need to ensure we're making the right choices with limited investment dollars. Shareholder and business value will be unlocked through innovation.”

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