Melanie Popp is a petroleum engineer who has seen the ups and downs of Canada’s oil and gas industry. She believes that now is the time for professionals in the industry to stand up for Canadian oil and gas.
Popp’s 15-year career in oil and gas includes some notable firsts. She was part of the team that first used hydraulic fracturing to recover economic quantities of natural gas from the Barnett Shale in the early 2000s. She also worked with industry-leading coalbed methane producers to implement new technology for the extraction of gas from coals.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan to a farming family, Popp has a keen appreciation for the sustainability of the land. She believes in being environmentally responsible: relying on public transit and her bicycle for her transportation needs, while teaching her five-year-old son the importance of turning off the lights when not using them. She also recognizes that energy security is a vital part of our daily lives. “I enjoy a warm home, and organic strawberries that need to get here from somewhere. Even mass transit systems or the plastics and rubber used to make my bicycle—that doesn’t happen without oil and natural gas,” she says.
Popp also thinks it doesn’t make sense for parts of Canada to be importing oil from foreign sources when we have plentiful sources of responsibly produced oil here.
Laid off last fall from a Calgary-based oil and gas company, Popp has started doing some consulting work while seeking new employment. The experience has served to galvanize her commitment to oil and natural gas. “We have some really great, very smart people in this industry. It’s also an amazing time of innovation and diversification,” says Popp.
In addition to joining Canada’s Energy Citizens (CEC), Popp is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), where she’s helping to organize an advocacy rally for young professionals called “Taking Action for Canada’s Energy Industry.” The rally occurs on May 19 at Local 522, and will bring together oil workers and supporters from various groups, including CEC, SPE, CAODC Oil Respect and Canada Action.
“We need to take a stand and step up for our industry. There’s power through numbers. If enough people start having a united, strong voice in support of the energy industry, people will wake up,” says Popp.