We are proud of our employees, including the women who play a central role in our Colorado operations. Here are just a few of the stories of the women who help Noble Energy ensure Coloradans can have the energy we need, the economy we want and the environment we value.

Sarah McDonnell

For Sarah McDonnell, working at Noble Energy has shown that opportunity exists for all employees – including women who aspire to manage workover rig operations.

“No one, from my manager upwards gave me any pushback when I told them that is what I wanted to do,” said Sarah. “Noble Energy is not only receptive, but supportive of the career aspirations of female employees.”

A petroleum engineer by background, Sarah always had a knack for math and got her start in oil and natural gas by approaching Noble Energy at a university recruiting event. That led to an internship with the company as a drilling engineer before coming on board full time three years ago as a planning engineer in the DJ Basin of Colorado.

Sarah quickly found herself with a portfolio of responsibility that included managing Noble Energy’s non-operated assets in the DJ Basin. “It was like managing your own small business and included everything from evaluating our non-operated well performance to representing the company’s interests with partner operators.”

As a planning engineer, Sarah designed and implemented a competitive analysis framework to measure the performance of other operators in Colorado. Since then, the framework designed by Sarah has served as a benchmark for the DJ Basin and is being evaluated as an option for other business units at Noble Energy.

Given Sarah’s success as a planning engineer and later as a production engineer, when she approached her supervisors about her aspirations to manage a workover rig, her accomplishments were rewarded.

“No one told me ‘oh this isn’t for you’ or attempted to steer me in a different direction. I knew that I was capable of doing it, and management fully supported me in taking on this responsibility,” describes Sarah.

Sarah now manages a workover rig that helps ensure wells are operating efficiently or plugs the wells as part of the company’s Plug and Removal Program.

“One of the things I admire about Noble Energy is we push to be proactive as opposed to reactive, and are committed to doing things the right way,” she said. “If we see an opportunity to make our operations cleaner and safer to provide the energy we need in Colorado, we take it and I take pride in the fact that I am able to lead a team with those values in mind.”

Anabel Alvarado

Anabel Alvarado’s path to the oil and natural gas industry was not exactly direct.

A native of Mexico who relocated to the United States when she was 5 years old, Anabel initially pursued a career in nursing before switching to oil and natural gas. According to Anabel, Noble Energy’s student loan reimbursement program made it possible for her to finish her bachelor’s degree in business and make the transition. “I have a degree now in business administration, and I was able to do that debt free, no student loans, with the help of Noble Energy’s education reimbursement program,” she explains.

Anabel now works as a senior land technician for Noble Energy, coordinating communication to landowners and writing purchase and sale agreements, while tracking rental and royalty payments.

“With Noble Energy’s help I plan to complete a Masters in Energy Management by December 2019 and once more debt free. This degree will help me get closer to the opportunity to achieve my career goal to become a well-rounded land representative for Noble Energy.”

Anabel has also embraced Noble Energy’s culture of being a Noble Neighbor in Colorado communities. “Noble Energy has definitely put a really big focus on ensuring our communities know us. One of the organizations Noble supports that I really like working with is the Greenway Foundation,” explains Anabel. The Greenway Foundation works to maintain the South Platte Trail in Weld County, providing recreational opportunities for community members in the area.

Noble Energy’s support for the Greenway Foundation has provided the opportunity to support MS 150, a charitable bike ride that raises money to combat muscular dystrophy. “I have ridden in the MS150 along the South Platte Trail and supported my coworkers on the ride when I couldn’t make it in 2017 while spending all my after-work hours on pursuing my master’s degree.”

The Denver Petroleum Council recognized Anabel’s commitment to give back to our communities, honoring her as a “2017 Champion” for logging more than 26 volunteer hours in 2016, which also distinguished her as one of the top 10 Colorado volunteers at Noble Energy. Anabel continues to give her time and support, which she amplifies through the NobleACTS two-to-one matching gifts program.

Another eye-opening aspect of working at Noble Energy for Anabel was learning simply the role oil and natural gas products plays in the life of Coloradans. “I didn’t realize how much of what this industry produces I use every day,” she said, while also recounting the scale of innovation and technology the company uses to responsibly produce these resources.

When it comes to producing the energy Coloradans need, Anabel said she hopes members of the community understand that Noble Energy employees live and work in Colorado. “The energy industry is made up of real people,” she said. “We have the same concerns, the same values, and care about the environment as much as our neighbors do. It’s important for our neighbors to see that human side.”

Jan Kulmann

Community engagement is what drew Thornton City Councilwoman and 2017 Women in Energy winner Jan Kulmann to Noble Energy.

“The fact that I get to be part of the community where I live and work, and it’s encouraged – not only encouraged, but required as part of our job to be engaged – was something that drew me to the company,” says Jan.

She concurrently serves as an elected official representing her community in the city of Thornton while also working as Noble Energy’s Senior Environmental, Health, Safety, and Regulatory (EHSR) Manager. She began her career in utilities and transitioned to Noble Energy, where she has had the opportunity to lead in engineering management roles.

Given her current role in EHSR, it is perhaps unsurprising that Jan considers Noble Energy’s culture of encouraging employees to be a Noble Neighbor one of the best parts of her job. Whether through the NobleACTS two-to-one matching gifts program or empowerment to volunteer during work hours, Jan says Noble Energy is a place where civic and charitable engagement permeates everything we do in Colorado. “I get to feel part of the community. I get to be engaged in the community. I get to work with my neighbors, my friends, my kids, and be part of where I am living.”

Jan’s family goes back five generations in Colorado, and she appreciates the unparalleled lifestyle the state offers. “It’s an incredible place to live. It’s an incredible place to play, and the fact that we get to work here is nothing short of amazing,” says Jan.

In addition to active civic involvement, Jan also helped the company be a better neighbor for Colorado’s environment and communities through her involvement in the Alternative Truck-loading Anson System (ATLAS), which helped fundamentally change the way the oil and natural gas industry measures the quantity, temperature and grade at onshore facilities – reducing emissions and improving safety.

With her engineering background, Jan helped educate employees about the safety component of the program. “My piece of it was the cultural side of ATLAS, on process safety management,” explains Jan. “So it’s not just you go to work and you do your job every day, but how you do your job. Why are you doing it the way you’re doing it?”

Jan says Noble Energy professionals pride themselves on being good neighbors and working together with the communities. “Noble Energy is the company you want working near you,” describes Jan. “We’re not just here to work. We’re here to be part of the community. We belong.”

Noble - Women in Energy

Yashica Ochoa

“We are kind of like the eyes in the sky for Noble Energy,” explains Yashica Ochoa, a technician in the Noble Operations and Control Center (NOCC). “We have the ability to remotely monitor our automated facilities in the field from right here in the Greeley office.”

The NOCC, which operates much like an air traffic control facility, is manned by technicians like Yashica 24/7, 365 days per year — providing constant monitoring. They can quickly and remotely adjust safety, environmental and production controls in real time.

“Being able to react and respond immediately before things turn into an issue is exactly what this job is all about,” describes Yashica. “I’ve never worked for a company that takes safety more seriously than this company.”

What attracted Yashica to transition to this position from the alternative energy industry was the innovation embedded in the NOCC. “It is pretty awesome that technicians in the NOCC can monitor thousands of pieces of automated equipment in real time,” she describes.

In addition to the opportunity to work in an innovative department like the NOCC, Yashica contends working in the NOCC also dispelled many of the stereotypes associated with working in the oil and natural gas industry as a female. “I think it’s pretty awesome that I came into this industry. We have rules and regulations. Technology has made things a lot easier and safer. I think a woman can do any job that is here.”

Given her experience with the opportunity provided by Noble Energy, Yashica said she will encourage her young daughter to consider a STEM — short for science, technology, engineering and math — career in oil and natural gas. “If you get a STEM education, you can get a job and more than likely it’s a good paying job. When my daughter gets older, I’ll definitely try to steer her down the track of a career in the energy industry because there’s an endless amount of jobs and a lot of opportunity.”

Above all, Yashica said working for Noble Energy is about ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of not just employees, but Noble Energy’s neighbors in Colorado. “We’re very committed to our environment and the community because that is what this job is here for. It’s mainly for safety. It’s not just for our employees out in the field but for our communities.”

Top Women In Energy

The Denver Business Journal has recognized several Noble Energy employees for their work in the industry over the last four years in their annual Top Women in Energy Awards. The awards recognize 40 key influencers throughout the energy industry in areas such as exploration, production, engineering, renewable, law, well services, finance, manufacturing, education, training, public policy and environment.

Several other Noble women have also been nominated over the years for this prestigious recognition. We are extremely proud of the contributions of all our female team members, and we look forward to seeing many more of our Colorado colleagues honored for their contributions as Noble Energy works to deliver the energy we need, the economy we want, the environment we value.

DBJ 2018 Top Women In Energy:

Jan Kulman (Senior EHSR Manager):

I’m most proud of: Finding my voice. Through every new challenge, role or stage of life, I’ve finally gained the confidence to stand up for myself in a way that only comes from hard lessons learned about when to push forward or when to ask for help. I’m not afraid of challenges; I only get better with each one. Read more here

Jeannette Jones (Engineering Manager, NBL Midstream):

I’m most proud of: My great work ethic moving me up the corporate ladder. My motto has always been, “Do good work and get noticed.” I love what I do, and that — combined with hard work — has made for a very successful career. Read more here

Natalie Aaron (Lead Engineer, Well Engineering):

I’m most proud of: Being part of an industry and organization that enhances people’s lives on a daily basis. We not only have the opportunity to supply people with much-needed energy, but we give back to the communities where we work and live. We strive to always leave things in better condition than we found them. Read more here

DBJ 2017 Top Women In Energy:

Patsy Landaveri (Senior Community Affairs Advisor):

Growing up in Peru, Patsy Landaveri knew what it was like not to have power all the time, sometimes even relying on candles for light. So it’s important to her, in her community affairs position at Noble Energy, to make sure Coloradans have reliable energy. Read more here