Kathy Knox is a fifth-generation Newfoundlander who began at Husky Energy in 2006 after 20 years working with the Provincial Government and in private environmental consulting.
Is working in NL's oil and gas industry rewarding?
Absolutely. I have a Bachelor of Science with a major in biology and came from an environmental consulting background. In fact, I was involved with the environment assessments for the original White Rose project back in 2000. When I first came into this position, it was exciting for me, as I didn’t know a lot about the technical side of the business, but every day I am amazed by the smart people I work with and how we manage to get oil out of the ground. It’s just fascinating.
Why do you choose to live in NL?
I like the size of St. John’s, it suits me as not too big, not too small. We love food. I think the restaurant scene is very vibrant here. All of that is driven, I think to some degree, by the economic activity of our industry.
I love the outdoors, and I think it’s a nice place to live and for kids to grow up. My partner of 29 years is a die-hard Newfoundlander. We live about half a kilometre from the house he grew up in, a couple of kilometres away from work, and still it’s only a five-minute drive for us to be in the woods and see nobody. It’s great.
What's your role at Husky Energy?
My title is manager of regulatory and industrial benefits. So that encompasses authorization processes with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) and any development plans or amendments that we must do for new projects like West White Rose. It also includes ensuring we meet our commitments related to maximizing local industrial benefits. The C-NLOPB is the primary regulator for offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. They audit us regularly and perform inspections on our facilities. While our operations authorization is renewed every three years, in practice, it’s a living document and we’re constantly engaged with the Board about how we do our business. All our plans, contingency plans, safety plans, everything, is approved by the board. We don’t make any amendments to those plans without the Board accepting them.
Under the industrial benefits umbrella, I am responsible for our regulatory obligations around diversity. White Rose was the first project with a formal diversity plan. I’m responsible for overseeing our execution of commitments in that we do a lot of outreach with our contractors on things around diversity and inclusion.
One of the big themes we’ve worked in the last several years is building the pool of people from the four designated groups that are typically underrepresented (women, persons with disabilities, indigenous people and visible minorities) in our industry. We’ve done a lot to try to explain that there are a lot of opportunities for a lot of different skills set to work in our industry.
What do you like about the work you're doing?
I think that the whole oil and gas business has transformed our economy and our culture.
The absolute best thing about my work is that for me, it’s always a new day. You don’t know what to expect, and we’re always exploring. I love to see a new project come online. I just like the excitement of being right in the middle of the industry.