Theresa Watson becomes newest Board Member

Teresa Watson becomes newest board member by ERCB, September 2009, Across the Board
Theresa Watson—an energy industry veteran with more than two decades of experience—has become the ERCB’s newest Board Member. After graduating from high school in Melita, Manitoba, Watson studied at Montreal’s McGill University, where she graduated with Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) degree in 1987. She went to work for Mobil Oil Canada as a downhole engineer. By 1991, married and expecting her first child, Watson needed more flexibility in her life, so she formed her own engineering consulting company, TL Watson and Associates. “Having my own company gave me the flexibility I needed. I was able to schedule around things, so I could work evenings and weekends when I needed to, then be free to go on school fi eld trips and things like that,” Watson says.

Watson’s affiliation with the ERCB began about eight years ago, when her consulting firm began working on a number of projects around well integrity issues, risk assessment and liability. She became an Acting Board
Member in February of 2008, was appointed as a Board Member this past July, and says acting as a panel member on hearings is one of the highlights of her new duties. “Hearings are hard work, but you learn so much. I’ve definitely learned how to be more patient and a better listener,” Watson says. “I once was thinking about going to law school and becoming a lawyer, so hearings definitely satisfy that part of my brain. When you’re writing a decision, you think, ‘The law says this, but what does that really mean in this situation and with these people?’ There are such big changes coming in the oil and gas industry, there’s going to be a lot of regulatory reform as we move toward being more non-conventional, and it’s great to have the chance to do my part to make sure it’s done right.”

Watson is looking forward to seeing advances made in areas such as carbon dioxide storage, maximizing the recoverability of conventional sources of oil and gas, and the development of non-conventional energy sources. “There is so much concern out there about the impacts of the oil and gas industry—environmentally, on the value of people’s property and impacts on people’s lifestyles, not to mention safety. There’s so much we at the ERCB can do, because we have the people on the ground and an incredible wealth of expertise. It’s a great time to be here.” For now, Watson is learning all she can and trying to stay as active as possible downhill skiing, wakeboarding, and riding horses with her family in their home in Carstairs. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: Watson and Bachu: Factors Affecting or Indicating Potential Wellbore Leakage ]

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