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Essi Kwabi

Petrophysicist, Apache Corporation

Houston, Texas

She’s looking to improve the world anyway she can

How Essi Kwabi is Making a Difference in the Energy Industry and Beyond

She’s looking to improve the world anyway she can

September 1, 2022

Apache Corporation petrophysicist Essi Kwabi’s steadfast goal is to improve the lives of others.

Whether it’s in her professional work analyzing the composition of rocks, her time as the community service chair at her local Rotary Club, or her role as a mom to two girls, she has one overarching mission: “To help better mankind.”

Kwabi, a self-described “rock doctor,” joined Apache in 2013 following an internship at the company. Her job is to examine rocks for hydrocarbons, organic chemical compounds that are the main component of oil, natural gas and other energy sources.

During her nearly ten years in the industry, Kwabi explains she’s seen tremendous technological advances — which has helped get reliable energy to all parts of the world and keptenergy costs down for the consumer.

“The speed at which we get data now is amazing,” she says. “We are able to find better, faster ways of acquiring the data that we need to make interpretations. We are also finding better ways to get the most accurate data. Technology is helping us get the answers more efficiently and more cost-effectively.”

Expanding Access to Energy

Kwabi, who moved to the U.S. 18 years ago from Togo, West Africa, is dedicated to helping people around the globe get access to life-enhancing sources of energy.

“Natural gas and oil aren’t available everywhere,” she says. “Roughly 10 percent of the world population lacks access to electricity, and 36 percent live without clean cooking facilities. The fact that I get to be part of an industry that helps provide this to people around the world is very rewarding.”

Fostering a Diverse, Inclusive Workplace

Internally at Apache, Kwabi is also doing her part to make a difference.

As co-founder and president of the Apache Black Professionals Network, she works with colleagues and company leadership to ensure that all employees feel seen and heard. The group  hosted virtual and in-person networking opportunities, and at one event, Apache CEO John J. Christmann IV shared his thoughts on strategies for career advancement. 

“Diversity and inclusion is a very important topic,” Kwabi says. “We created the group to give our Black employees a safe space and a community of people to rely on.”

Workplaces need to embrace race and gender diversity, she adds, as well as welcome “diversity of thought.”

“It has been a privilege to work with our executive team and others in leadership here,” she says. “I can see their passion in wanting to make sure we have diversity at our company and in the industry in general.”

Creating a Better World

Kwabi says her colleagues view their jobs as having a unique opportunity to make a difference — locally and globally.

“When we are working as a petrophysicist, an engineer, a geologist, or a geophysicist, at the end of the day, we are not just doing our part of the job. We are on a mission for something that’s much bigger than ourselves. We’re on a mission to serve the world,” she says. “So, if you were to ask me what I do as a petrophysicist, I would say, ‘I am helping change the world.’ Because that’s what I am doing.”

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