Patrick Crump

Marcellus Planning Manager, Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City
Patrick Crump

Navigating through the ups and downs of the oil and gas industry can bring many challenges to one’s career, but Patrick Crump faces them head on with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the future. He’s experienced success and failure alike during his career as an engineer and has learned valuable lessons along the way, perhaps most importantly to never stop asking questions. 

Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?

“Mainly because it seemed fun. In high school, I wanted to go into some form of engineering. While looking at several different engineering schools, I came across students from Penn State’s petroleum program who were discussing their recent summer internships. The students all had interesting work experiences in Alaska, California or offshore Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, they all seemed extremely excited about the career field they were entering. That interaction is what drove me to enroll in the petroleum program, and I haven’t regretted it since.”

Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?

“From an operations standpoint, [my] most memorable professional achievements [was] a wellbore remediation program. The remediation program involved the repair of approximately two dozen wells using a custom designed 4-inch FJ liner/hanger system. This project was exciting due to the unique challenges these wells faced, the potential to salvage hundreds of millions of at-risk development dollars and the interactions involved in designing and installing custom downhole equipment.”

What qualities do you think are necessary for a good leader in the oil and gas industry? 

“I think a good leader needs to be patient, inquisitive, generous with their time and willing to make a decision and take responsibility for it. Good leaders recognize that they are often not the smartest person in the room, and their team most likely has knowledge they do not. Building relationships with their team, understanding their opinions and asking questions ultimately makes a leader more effective. However, for a leader to retain credibility, they ultimately need to be able to make a decision and be responsible for the outcome.” 

What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry? 

“There is always something new to fix, an opportunity to address and a challenge to rise to. The thing that excites me every day when I go to work is thinking how much of a difference I can make and how many opportunities there are to improve.”

What has helped you develop your leadership abilities during your career?

“One of the most instrumental items in developing my leadership skills was being wrong, and publicly shown how so, several times early in my career. This experience ingrained me with a humbleness regarding my own fallibility and serves as a constant reminder to seek out other opinions. I encourage everyone to take time to solicit feedback from their peers and supervisors in a candid manner.”

What professional advice would you give other young professionals in the industry and/or in your sector? 

“Don’t pass up opportunities to see something new, learn all you can and always be willing to volunteer. We are often faced with complex technical problems that have a high degree of uncertainty and span many different disciplines. By having a well-rounded set of experiences, I believe individuals in this industry are best-suited to have an outsized impact on their teams’ results.”

What transformations do you think the industry must undertake for it to thrive in the future?

“From a cultural and political approach, the industry needs to accept that human influence on climate is real. The industry can be part of a positive solution by embracing this reality and focusing on how we can deliver clean, affordable and environmentally responsible energy to the world. Disparaging green technology or various other initiatives often seen as an opposition to oil and gas, while entertaining, does nothing to advance our common cause of providing energy to the world.”

Three More Things

1. I love bacon cheeseburgers and cheap champagne.

2. I encourage everyone to always be learning. I generally feel people are often like oil and gas companies in that you’re either growing or dying, but there isn’t much middle ground. 

3. Make sure to look out the window and have fun along the way.