If you work in the energy industry, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the American Petroleum Institute, better known as API, and their annual State of American Energy report. The organization has been around for over 100 years and represents all areas of the natural gas and oil industry. They work with their 600 members to ensure that the nation’s energy is being produced and distributed in a safe and reliable manner. You can read more about their work and programs here.
Each year, API holds a virtual State of American Energy event to release the report. They feature various speakers who share information on industry insights and future outlooks. Also highlighted are employees who work at API member companies. This year, we’re proud to say that one of our very own Coterra employees, Zach Conrad, was invited to participate. “This experience was amazing. I met with people from all walks of life with different backgrounds and personalities,” said Zach. “From Alaska to Houston to Pennsylvania, it’s inspiring to see how despite our differences, we all still have a similar perspective of and passion for the industry.”
“Progress is made in America every day by people like Zach,” said API Executive Vice President and COO Amanda Eversole. “The men and women working in our industry are using technology and innovation to supply affordable, reliable energy while continuously improving environmental performance. We are pleased to highlight the important work of people like Zach who are providing crucial energy and striving to improve the communities and environment where they live and work.”
Zach is a Completions Engineer at Coterra and has been with us since he graduated from college in 2020. He is originally from New Milford, PA, and grew up seeing firsthand the positive impact our industry can have on a community. Seeing how much these energy companies were giving back really inspired him to get involved in the industry.
Zach attended Blue Ridge High School and was successful on the football field and in the classroom. His teachers described him as a tough, gritty, and humble kid. Hard work has never been something Zach shied away from. From what we know of Zach today, not much has changed. Another transformative moment in Zach’s High School career that led him to the natural gas and oil industry was when his school got a visit from Coterra’s External Affairs Manager, Bill desRosiers. Bill shared information about the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the available careers in the industry.
With so much exposure to the industry at a young age, Zach graduated from Blue Ridge and went to Marietta College in Ohio to become a petroleum engineer. Marietta is a teaching college that focuses on getting students as much experience in their field as possible. Zach shared, “We had small class sizes and plenty of one-on-one time with professors. Marietta’s respected reputation and strong alumni network offer students many opportunities to land internships and get hands-on experience in the field.
We spoke with Ben Ebenhack, Benedum Professor, and Industry Partners Chair in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Marietta, to better understand how Zach got to where he’s at today. “Zach definitely sticks out in my mind. He has such a strong commitment to the profession. He might be a quiet guy, but you can see and sense his level of engagement,” said Ben. “Zach really is a can-do guy. Whatever he needed to do, he got it done because his core commitment to his work or outside passions is really high.”
It was also at Marietta where Zach first got involved with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Zach was the Chapter Historian and was very active in the organization. He worked with Zachary Evans, Regional Director for SPE North America who shared that, “It’s easy to claim an officer title for your resume. But it’s hard to find people like Zach who actually put in the hard work to be active in the organization. It’s truly been inspiring to our group to see Zach transition from a student member to a professional member and still take pride in his involvement with SPE and industry.”
During Zach’s time at Marietta, he worked various jobs in the industry and attended industry events. At the Upstream PA Conference, he met Coterra’s External Affairs Director, George Stark. The two hit it off, leading to Zach getting an internship at Coterra. Once he graduated in 2020, Zach joined Coterra full-time as a completions engineer.
When Zach is not working at Coterra, he’s still working in his community. He was recently elected as a New Milford Borough Councilman and sits on the Parks and Recreation council. He also works closely with the Municipal Authority and even plans to help plow snow this year if the borough is shorthanded.
Zach continues to make strides in his career and his community. He also hopes to inspire the younger generation to achieve their goals. “Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and do something that gets you closer to what you want,” said Zach. “Just be seen. Don’t be scared to be seen or make connections. The connections I made along the way are what got me to where I’m at today.”
Please click the button below to access the full 2022 API State of American Energy Report.