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Oil and Gas Investor

Denna Arias uses the motto “just keep swimming” to demonstrate the trajectory of her career—always moving forward. Arias understands that the key to being successful in the oil and gas industry, and any career, is building and caring for relationships.

“Thanks to mentorship, being open to opportunity and learning, I was able to join a team with who was once my biggest competitor and have had the opportunity to be a part of building and diversifying a platform, adding to our talented team members and being a part of an upstream movement,” Arias said.

Pushing for growth

“After graduating from high school, I began in the oil and gas industry with my father encouraging me to work the summers at Houston Fuel Oil Terminal while beginning my college studies. This experience opened the door for me to continue in the oil and gas industry and broaden my skillset by beginning my career at Swift Energy Company where I was given the opportunity to learn across business lines and professions working within the exploration and production and corporate development team. This business is about relationships, deep connections and having grit. I persevere to never stop moving forward, keep swimming and continually push myself to learn and grow in my profession. I always work hard to relate, be myself and try not to take myself too seriously. I strive to treat everyone the same and work to be the best version of myself while always seeking to improve.”

A&D accomplishments

“The A&D world has developed both a need and the inspiration to build relationships, push past my fear of presenting and talking to strangers, get out of my comfort zone, get out of the box and be creative, learn how to negotiate for yourself and on behalf of your client, a desire to strive and mediate for a win-win solution, and work to continually set and accomplish new goals.”

Just keep swimming

“When I first entered the industry, my goal was to learn, be open to ideas, keep moving forward—just keep swimming—to consistently and intentionally grow spiritually, professionally and overall. I feel these are still great principles for me today. Presently, I do strive more not to take myself too seriously, have fun, look at the big picture, not be too stressed out or anxious about the small things, enjoy the moments of today, while still moving forward and looking for opportunities to grow and dream.”

Part of the solution

“The oil and gas industry is a part of energy that transforms lives literally to improve quality of life, economically and socially. The industry is ever-evolving, which provides something new to learn every day. It is an industry rich with creative, smart and passionate people that care about their families and community. I believe we have to do a better job at communicating to this generation and the upcoming generation that we are a part of the energy industry that provides economic and social growth and opportunity. There is goodness in our industry and a substantial material need. We must learn how to effectively communicate and portray that story and be a part of the solution.”


  1. I’m a proud career mother of two freshmen: a Trinity College freshman and Lamar High School freshman.
  2. I’m not afraid of a challenge; I like the rush of adrenaline and energy I experience from speed such as roller coasters and zip lining.
  3. I have a bionic leg—a titanium plate and eight screws in my lower leg and ankle area.

Click here for a full list of “25 Influential Women in Energy” honorees for 2022.

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