5 Things You Need to Know About...Lindsey McCarty ('08)
Since 2017, Lindsey McCarty (‘08) has served as Vice President of Reservoir Engineering and Business Development for PayRock Energy II, LLC, a private equity backed E&P company focused in the Eagle Ford in south Texas. She is responsible for the technical quality of reservoir and economic analysis and is involved in strategic decisions and communication with the board of directors.
Prior to joining PayRock II in 2017, Lindsey held a series of production, completions, business planning, and reservoir engineering roles for Marathon Oil Company in various locations across the United States. She holds a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, an MBA from the University of Houston, and is a licensed professional engineer. Lindsey is an active member of SPE and SWE, and is an advocate for increasing the number of women pursuing engineering careers.
Outside of work, you can typically find Lindsey knitting, working on a home renovation project, or spending time with her husband and two young sons.
You came from Houston, TX to the University of Oklahoma to earn your degree in petroleum engineering (BS ’08). What was the attraction to OU?
Both of my parents attended OU - in fact, they met at Cate Center on Lindsey Street, which happens to be my name. I lived in Oklahoma for less than a year of my childhood, but was raised rooting for the Sooners and always considered it an option for my college education. When it came time to select a degree and university, I was set on Petroleum Engineering, and looked into the schools offering the best programs. After narrowing my choices down to OU or UT, ultimately it was the smaller size and campus feel that drew me to Oklahoma. The idea of going out of state for college was also appealing- I really wanted to spread my wings and meet new people, and OU was farther from home.
We understand as a young lady you created your own “oil company (albeit pretend).” Tell us about that!
My dad is a geophysicist, and had old maps laying around in his office along with our family computer. In elementary school I convinced my sister and best friend that we should play ‘oil company’ instead of ‘house.’ We named our company Royal Oil, thrilled with our witty rhyming abilities, and got to ‘work.’ A day at Royal Oil consisted primarily of coloring maps and lots of nonsensical typing in early versions of Excel. I immediately commandeered what I considered to be the best two positions: CEO and secretary.
You currently serve as a vice president with PayRock Energy II, based in Oklahoma City. Talk about your career development and your work with PayRock.
My career started with a variety of entry-level production and reservoir engineering roles with Marathon in Oklahoma City, Houston, and Cody, Wyoming. In fact, my favorite roles to this day remain the years I spent on location in OKC and Cody learning the nuts and bolts of the industry from a series of bright and patient mentors. About 6 years into my career, I moved into a financial planning role, followed by an engineering supervisor role for the Eagle Ford subsurface time (baptism by fire as my first foray into the world of unconventionals). After 9 years with Marathon, I decided to try something entirely new and moved over to PayRock II to learn about the private equity side of the business. I’ve really enjoyed meeting many new people, learning more about the financial aspects of running a company, and the exposure to a wide variety of decisions I never had awareness of at a larger company.
When you’re not on the job, you and your husband, Noah, enjoy renovating houses. What’s that like?
It’s coordinated chaos, with many moments leaning more toward chaos. I do the design work and Noah, who grew up in a construction family, does most of the execution. It’s been both a bonding experience and a real test of our marriage to renovate 5 homes while living in them. Looking back, we’re happy with at the designs we’ve gotten to try and the equity we’ve been able to build, but each time we start over we swear it will be the last time. Adding kids to the mix has slowed us down; our current house will take us at least 5 years to finish, and we plan to hang on to this one for a while.
What advice would you give students and recent graduates in petroleum engineering?
Both the beauty and challenge of our field is that it is always changing. The industry looks nothing like it did 20 years ago, and I expect it will look very different in another 20. If you’ve got a data analytics or programming skill set, I think you’ll find it to be incredibly useful, now and in the future. Stay engaged and enthusiastic, never stop learning, treat the people around you well, and be proud of the energy we provide to our country and others around the world.
To women entering petroleum engineering: there is a place for you here, and so much opportunity. In spite of its reputation as a male-dominated field, I have had such a positive experience and am excited to see the number of women around me continue to grow.