Lisa Song

Petrophysicist – Unconventional Resources at Chevron Canada

Describe a typical day

I start my day walking Jack, my Bernese mountain dog every morning. I love dogs and think that the world would be a much better place if humans possessed the same, pure love dogs do. When I get to the office around 7:30, I list down things I want to accomplish that day or, if it’s Monday, that week. If you don’t know where you are going or what you are trying to achieve, you won’t know how to get there. Hence I have to have a list before I start my day. I try not to stay late at work (which is really hard for me). When I get home, I spend time cooking dinner and talking about my day with my partner.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

As a petrophysicist, my main responsibility is to study rock physics and figure out how to produce the hydrocarbon from each rock’s properties like pore size, connectivity, and hydrocarbon saturation. I calculate the amount of hydrocarbon in the reservoir and provide the resources number, in order for the engineering team to develop the field efficiently. I am a very data driven person, so this is one of the things I love most about my job.

Currently, I am a subsurface team member for an unconventional asset, a very tight shale formation which requires hydraulic fracturing to produce. I study the rock mechanics properties of this formation, which are the main input for the hydraulic fracturing design, induced seismicity study, and the regional stress study. Knowing all these rock properties and how they behave, helps us design more efficient operations strategies and mitigate any drilling and completion issues.

There is a strong scientific culture at Chevron, which does not exist at all companies. Having access to all kinds of data on rock properties and the ability to apply this information scientifically and analytically, is one of the perks of my job.

There are limitless activities to do outside of the regular work in Chevron. There are lots of volunteering activities from gardening for foodbank with the retirees and helping out at the Calgary Humane Society, to reading books with kids. Chevron also has very diverse employees’ networks, which are initiated by employees, formally structured and aligned with Chevron’s diversity objectives, values, vision and strategy.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

Coming from a poor family, I was able to take my parents to travel to countries they could not have imagined they would visit before. I am proud that I am able to make that happen.

Professionally, I am also proud to have started my career in the field where for nearly 6 years, I worked not just in Alberta but Oklahoma and a remote island in Indonesia. Today, I am able to relate more of what I do in the office to the real world, where our energy production is actually occurring.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

More technical knowledge needs to be passed on to the new generation within oil and gas industry. It is worrisome to see so many experienced employees moving into retirement, replaced by the new generation, many of whom have never had proper mentoring.

Current community involvement efforts.

I have been involved with SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers), a non-profit global petroleum engineering association, since I was in university. I served as the President for my student chapter in Indonesia, and have since volunteered with different chapters everywhere I’ve lived. Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors for SPE Calgary, on the technical committee for the SPE Montney workshop.

Why YWE?

I believe in the power of mentoring and having someone to look up to. It is important for young people to have a person they trust who they can talk to and ask questions about their career and life choices. YWE is an amazing initiative, which makes this possible for all the young women in the energy industry.

What are you reading?

To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.