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Oil and Gas Investor

[Editor's note: Influential Women In Energy 2021 is a supplement to the May 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

Born in Paris, France, and raised in Houston, Marie Merle Caekebeke has been working for Schlumberger since July 2002, just a few months after graduating from Trinity University.

“My first role as a marketing communication specialist introduced me to the ins and outs of the energy industry—specifically oil and gas,” she said. “I focused on our technology offering and quickly learned how broad our portfolio of products and services is, as well as how staying in the know meant remembering a lot of acronyms.”

She credits her international upbringing and love of language as what made working for an international company like Schlumberger a natural fit.

“A few months before graduating from college, I began applying to different job openings,” she said. “When I came across Schlumberger’s profile, I was intrigued with the company’s history having been founded in the 1920s by two brothers, Marcel and Conrad Schlumberger, from the Alsace region in France. Schlumberger’s global presence and workforce diversity felt like it would be the right fit. Although at the time, I knew little about the complexity of the energy industry.” 

Challenges and rewards 

“Each step in my career at Schlumberger has been both challenging and rewarding, and the years have honestly gone by in a flash. From working in media relations, to supporting operations in service quality, to roles in mergers and acquisitions and corporate communication, some of the most valuable lessons I have learned along the way include the true impact a manager can make on a team by being present, engaged and by always taking the time to listen to the viewpoint of others.” 


“Growing up, I was extremely close to my grandparents, especially my maternal grandmother Louise Merle. She applied empathy, humility, respect and grace in all that she did—principles I try to live by as I carry her memory in my heart. 

“My parents, my husband and my brother have also been strong inspirations and have showed me that no matter the struggle, through perseverance anything can be accomplished—coupled with a bit of humor and a lot of love.” 

Memorable moment 

“A colleague of mine, Paula McCann Harris, once said that if you find your passion and follow your purpose, your job will be more fulfilling. Those words resonated the most when I was offered my current role in sustainability three years ago. I found my passion—driving positive change in both the environmental and social space. Being a mother to my two young daughters, Juliette and Charlotte, is my greatest accomplishment, and I am committed to playing my part in making this world a better place for them and for the generations to come.” 

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Industry perspective 

“I see networking and leveraging the work of professional organizations, including SPE [Society of Petroleum Engineers], the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, and IPIECA, and supporting the UN Global Compact and its principles as being fundamental in leveraging best practices. Our industry is stronger when we help one another on key priorities we should be moving the needle on, including keeping people safe, reducing our footprint, addressing climate change, driving diversity and inclusion, and respecting human rights.” 

Career goals 

“When I began my career at Schlumberger, my goals were simple: learning as much and as fast as I could and navigating what is a very technical domain without being called out for being one of the few non-engineers. Nineteen years later, my focus is about making a lasting impact on our industry and inspiring young professionals to believe that their voice matters and that each person can contribute to addressing the energy transition. We are all contributing authors to this story with unlimited possibilities. Pick up a pen and write your chapter.” 

Industry transformation 

“Safety is at the cornerstone of everything we do in our industry. Now more than ever, our focus must also be on driving environmental and social change. This is not a nice to have, this is expected and key to performance. It’s about a mindset shift focused on continuous improvement and challenging ourselves to do better and never settle for the status quo.”