Today’s up-and-coming leaders are helping to shape tomorrow’s energy future. Whether it’s new thinking, fresh attitudes or technical solutions, showcasing their work and vision is of tremendous value to the entire energy industry.
Daily Oil Bulletin’s Rising Stars Class of 2019 is a showcase event of the excellent work done by young emerging energy leaders.
Marketing Representative Eastern Markets Commercial, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines
Molly Beckel transferred to a new role at TC Energy this October when she moved from Calgary to Toronto to manage customer transportation accounts.
It’s a big change from her former role as a Facilities Integrity and Reliability Engineer. For three years she addressed critical operational issues, delivered optimization programs, improved reliability and implemented automation upgrades at TC Energy’s Canadian pipeline facilities.
“I wanted to get a really good fundamental technical understanding of the business. In this role, I learned to be a mechanical engineer,” says Beckel, who actually graduated as a management engineer from the University of Waterloo in 2013.
Beckel enjoys technical challenges. She has been recognized as a Global Petroleum Show Emerging Leader finalist in 2019 and received a Young Women in Energy Award in 2018.
But this experience will do little to prepare her for the business side of the operations in Ontario. So why did TC Energy roll the dice to move her out East?
“I also do a lot volunteer work with the Young Pipeliners Association [of Canada (YPAC)]. We negotiate with various companies in the pipeline space to secure funding and support, and we work on a lot of industry initiatives,” she says.
Last year, YPAC kicked off its first government engagement initiative. A delegation travelled to Ottawa to introduce MPs and senators to the group’s message, that YPAC believes in pipelines for technical, social and environmental reasons, that it sees a future for pipelines and for oil and gas.
YPAC also testified to the Canadian Senate on Bills C-69 and C-48.
All this extracurricular activity provided TC Energy the confidence to give Beckel an opportunity to expand her horizons in Ontario.
“Giving back to industry [through YPAC] is really rewarding, but it’s actually what launched me into my next opportunity. I would have never had the credibility that I have now without that work with YPAC,” she says.
And how successful was the YPAC mission to Ottawa? Beckel says the group was received with a mixture of surprise and confusion.
‘The MPs and senators seemed confused by the fact that we’re young women and young men,” she says. “We’re also a very diverse group of people, so we were not what they expected.”
YPAC’s nonpartisan message also raised some eyebrows upon hearing that pipelines are critical not only to oil and gas but also to a low-carbon future for carbon capture infrastructure and some renewable energy projects.
“We probably didn’t change their minds, but it was good for them to hear. At least, they know we exist and need to be part of the consideration,” Beckel says.
Beyond her involvement in industry committees (she’s a member of the International Pipeline Conference Young Engineers’ Engagement Committee and represents YPAC on the board of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association Foundation), Beckel has also been coaching Special Olympics for five years.
“I coach soccer, snowshoeing and we did floor hockey last year. It’s super fun. It’s only one hour a week. Honestly, you just have the best time. The athletes remember you and they appreciate that you’re there,” she says.