Global oil and gas companies are complex labyrinths to navigate each with their own politics, culture, missions and purpose. It was working within one of these intricate networks, Exxon at their international headquarters in the United States, that grounded Petroleum Club of WA member Bernadette Cullinane in industry fundamentals and taught her how global companies operate.
“As a Chemical Engineer with an MBA I have worked in the oil and gas industry my entire career and loved every assignment, location and opportunity this global industry has offered,” said Cullinane who is a Partner and National Oil, Gas & Chemicals Leader and Global LNG Leader at Deloitte Australia.
During Cullinane’s time with Exxon, she was offered the opportunity to move to Singapore to work in the Esso refinery.
“I took on a challenging ‘outside my comfort zone’ role as Operations Supervisor. I learned first-hand about working in a high performing team with safety as the number one imperative,” said Cullinane.
“This experience was transformational, and it gave me the confidence to make rapid, data-based decisions.”
It’s this confidence along with her experience navigating global organisations and her appetite for transformational change that led Cullinane into the world of consulting, working on projects in the USA, Europe, South America and Asia.
“I moved to Perth to work with the LNG industry, and I have been here for the last 12 years – without looking back,” said Cullinane who has been a consistent Petroleum Club member throughout that time.
As Deloitte’s industry leader, Cullinane has helped many Australian (delete comma) and Asia Pacific operators achieve their business objectives, improve business performance and contribute to a lower carbon energy future.
“The scope and ambition of the LNG projects in Australia have been massive, and I feel privileged to be part of this world-leading industry.
“My work is varied - cutting across functions and activities with a company. Projects can range from digital initiatives to helping companies operate in new ways, transform and be globally competitive,” Cullinane.
One of Cullinane’s passions is supporting women in the oil and gas industry and she is doing this both from within Deloitte and with the broader industry through the Women in Oil and Gas organisation and other initiatives. While proud of her work, Bernadette still thinks that more can be done.
“Over the last 17 years, the percentage of females in the oil and gas workforce has remained at 15% for Australia overall and under 20% for WA. The global nature of our industry demands the contributions of a diverse workforce and more must be done to move the needle in our industry,” said Cullinane.
Outside of the workplace and Cullinane admits that she is exceedingly fortunate to have a close-knit family including three young adult children and a husband who also works in the oil and gas industry.
“My oldest two children are now studying in Melbourne, but we love to travel together. We recently returned from a trip to Tasmania, which was stunning.
“On weekends, I enjoy yoga, keeping up with what’s going on in the world, reading and taking in the arts scene around town,” finalised Cullinane.
Bernadette will be joining the lineup of speakers at the Petroleum Club of WA’s first Industry Dinner of 2019, presenting an outlook to 2019-2020, focused on trends and where the industry is heading, including the ever-changing landscape of technology and automation and how this may impact the future of our industry. More details here.