Karla Ingoldsby got her start in the energy industry when she applied for a summer role as a relief operator.
“At that time what attracted me was the significant amount of growth in an industry in which Alberta was a leader technologically, environmentally, and socially,” she recalls.
After graduating from the University of Alberta in mechanical engineering, she worked for Shell for nearly a decade. In 2010, she joined Athabasca Oil Corporation where she has been progressively appointed into more senior roles while managing the challenges that come with being the mother of three young children.
Today Karla plays a key role as vice-president of thermal oil with Athabasca, where she is responsible for the operations and the long-term strategies of the Hangingstone and Leismer facilities. She leads a team of about 100 people with oversight of approximately 26,000 bbls/d of production.
One of Karla’s major career achievements was being a member of the team that completed the $560 million acquisition of Statoil Canada’s thermal assets.
When asked what she likes about her job, Karla said, “I love that I’m involved with driving the strategic direction of the business and I get to see that my actions have a direct impact every day.”
Karla said innovation is the key to success.
“Innovation can be a new product or even a new way of doing things,” said Karla. “At AOC, I think we are innovative in that we are open to trying new ideas and we’re committed to adapting and improving. One area I’ve focused on is finding ways of reducing our environmental footprint through activities such as non-condensable gas co-injection in our SAGD well pairs, installing technology downhole to manage steam distribution, and drilling longer wells to reduce our surface disturbance. Not only are these innovations good for the environmental, they are lowering our costs which makes good financial sense.”
She credits several mentors that have helped her navigate her career.
“Some mentors taught me about who I want to be as a leader, others supported me in my development, and some showed me ways to balance a successful career while raising a young family.”
Karla believes that community involvement is important and is proud of her work and Athabasca’s support of organizations such as the Calgary Food Bank, STARS Air Ambulance and local hospitals in the communities where the company operates.
One of her highlights of 2020 was being a keynote speaker at an International Women’s Day event.
“As a female leader, I feel I have an ability to bring a different lens to conversations, which can help enhance creativity and innovation so we can make effective decisions and deliver the best results.”
Karla is convinced Canadian energy will continue to play a vital role in the world’s energy.
“I think as an industry, we have to work hard to make sure that the energy we provide continues to meet the highest environmental and social standards to remain competitive, and one day I hope that the Canadian barrel is seen as the premier barrel.”
The 2020 Class of Rising Stars is brought to you by Fluor Canada.