Cracking the Myths of the Oil and Gas Industry with Kathy Shannon

November 29, 2023

At PBIOS 2023, Jordan Yates has the privilege of speaking with Kathy Shannon, the Executive Director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. They discuss the significance of the Permian Basin, and shed light on the museum's unique initiative, "Myth Crackers," aimed at dispelling common petroleum myths.


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Cracking the Myths of the Oil and Gas Industry with Kathy Shannon - Ep 25 - Transcript


00:00:00 Speaker 1
This episode of The Energy Pipeline is sponsored by Caterpillar Oil and Gas. Since the 1930s, Caterpillar's manufactured engines for drilling, production, well service and gas compression. With more than 2100 dealer locations worldwide, caterpillar offers customers a dedicated support team to assist with their premier power solutions.

00:00:26 Speaker 2
The energy pipeline is your lifeline to all things oil and gas to drill down deep into the issues impacting our industry. From the frack site to the future of sustainability, hear more about industry issues, tools and resources to streamline and modernize the future of oil and gas. Welcome to The Energy Pipeline.

00:00:49 Jordan Yates
Hello everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Energy Pipeline. It is me, your host, Jordan Yates. And today I am joined by Kathy Shannon, the executive director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. Kathy, how are you doing today?

00:01:03 Kathy Shannon
We're doing great today.

00:01:04 Jordan Yates
Amazing. Guys, I am holding onto my voice for dear life right now we are at PBIOS and we have been chitchatting with a lot of people since we've been here. Has that been the case for you?

00:01:14 Kathy Shannon
Absolutely, yes. Lots of people.

00:01:17 Jordan Yates
It's been very fun though. Kathy, like we said, is with the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. Kathy, how long have you been there?

00:01:25 Kathy Shannon
I've been there 28 years, so quite a while. I started as director of education and then moved on to director in 2004.

00:01:32 Jordan Yates
That's amazing. So you're going to have a lot of insights on this museum and everything about it, correct?

00:01:37 Kathy Shannon
I hope so.

00:01:39 Jordan Yates
Well guys, I am so excited for us to get into it. Kathy, can you first give us an overview of what this museum is and what the mission of the museum is?

00:01:48 Kathy Shannon
Our mission is really to share the petroleum and energy story and its impact on our lives. And to do that, we have exhibits about the petroleum industry. We have exhibits about our cultural history of the Permian Basin. We have a beautiful mineral gallery, and then we added the Chaparral race cars in 2004. And what that did, that helped us expand on kind of a science mission. And that was what was so important when we redid our exhibits, is we focused on the technology of this industry. People think of it as old and dusty and dirty, and there's so much more. And so when we completed our$ 18 million renovation in 2016, they did such a great job of featuring this industry as just top- notch, highly technical, bright, good colors, all of that. So I used to say that our main thing was education, and that is a big, big piece of who we are. But these last couple of years it's been being an advocate for this industry. There's a lot out there that's not so nice. And so that really, I think has become very important because the only way we can get kids interested in coming into this industry is that if we get the truth out there about it and what a cool, innovative industry it is.

00:03:09 Jordan Yates
Yeah, absolutely. Because it's nice that you're a real brick and mortar type of educational institution because a lot of times I'll notice too, I'll get frustrated because I'm like, why don't people know how great this industry is? But then it's like, okay, well where do I point them? What are the good resources? And we ideally would love for the podcast to be a good resource, but I like that they can go somewhere like your museum and actually be immersed in the experience and have that good vibe associated with it.

00:03:37 Kathy Shannon
Yes. Yeah, that good vibe. 96% of everything you have around you, on you, whatever, is a petroleum product. And so people just don't realize that. I was in California a couple of weeks ago and she's like, " So petroleum museum, what? Why?" And I said, " Well, you would be very hungry standing here naked if you didn't have the petroleum industry." And she was stunned. She had no idea. Her cell phone, her computer, her clothes, how they cook her food, how they ship her food, it's all petroleum. And it was great because she was interested and fascinated. If you can catch them and get their interest, then they kind of break away from that really bad vibe they feel when they hear petroleum.

00:04:23 Jordan Yates
That's nice. Yeah. Our third episode of this podcast was petrochemicals and everything they're used in and what they are because I think that the truth is people just think oil is for your car. They don't think about that it's turned into so many other things. And I mean it's not their fault, it's not common knowledge. We have to teach them.

00:04:42 Kathy Shannon
The industry has never been good about advocating for itself. They just got the job done. They didn't" waste time." They were working. They were out there looking for more oil and more natural gas. And then all of a sudden it comes up that nobody understands it. And then you get these people with all the negativity about it and bless their hearts, they can't catch up. They just can't get caught back up. So that's what we do. We try and get out there and talk about it and let people know what a big piece of their life it is.

00:05:18 Jordan Yates
Absolutely. I feel like since you guys are in Midland, I would assume, correct me if I'm wrong, is the support for the museum pretty heavy, considering this is an oil and gas town?

00:05:28 Kathy Shannon
It is very much so. We are so fortunate that our foundations and our companies and our donors are huge support for us. We couldn't do it. We're not government funded, so we have to raise all of our money. We have about a $1.6 million budget. We just completed an$ 8 million, sorry, $ 6 million education center where we will do our classes and impact those kids. But we have great support from our community. We're fortunate.

00:05:59 Jordan Yates
That's amazing. Do people often come out of town to come see it? Do you ever see field trips? What kind of visitors are you getting?

00:06:05 Kathy Shannon
We do. We do a lot of field trips. A lot of the small towns, this is their going to the big city and they'll go to Mr. Gatti's pizza and then come out and visit us. We'll do classes and a tour kind of a combination for these kids. And then we get a lot of interstate visitors.

00:06:23 Jordan Yates
Yeah, really?

00:06:24 Kathy Shannon
So your snowbirds come right through here. And so they will stop. One of the things we've added recently is a Harvest Host, and these are people in RVs. And they look for places that are safe to stop and overnight. And we don't have hookups, we don't have any of that. But if they're self- contained, they'll come in, they'll spend the night in our parking lot, which we love, and then come visit the museum. And so those people come from all over. So we have a very wide spread. Interstate 20's a pretty busy road, so we get some traffic. We have about 50, 000 people a year come through.

00:06:58 Jordan Yates
That's really cool. So I mean, as you guys have seen and everybody listening knows, this industry has been evolving so much. I mean even in the five or six years I've been in it, but I can only imagine what you've seen the 30ish years you've been at the museum. Can you tell us from your point of view how you've seen the industry evolve and how the museum's evolved with it?

00:07:18 Kathy Shannon
Well, the museum has evolved a lot, but really early on, Midland was primarily oil. And then when we couldn't get any more oil out of the reservoirs we were in, they went to natural gas. So they drilled deeper and then we became a big natural gas community. And then with the shale, the oil came back around. So you've seen that transition that now all the oil drilling is here. And so that's been good. Also, we're seeing less and less independent companies. So the big ones are coming in. Pioneer just got purchased by Exxon and Concho by ConocoPhillips. And so that's a big shift. You had Midlaners running their own companies that were big supporters of the museum. And so we're having to work a little harder getting the big oil companies often based in Houston.

00:08:13 Jordan Yates
Yeah, they are.

00:08:13 Kathy Shannon
And they don't know who we are.

00:08:14 Jordan Yates
Girl come visit us. I'm in Houston.

00:08:16 Kathy Shannon
That's right. That's right. That's so that is changing the landscape and it will probably continue to change it. It's getting to where drilling is so expensive, it's hard for the independents to stay in. And that's kind of sad because they were the ones who built our community, they built the hospital, they built the theater, they built the petroleum museum. So that'll be a bit of a shift that we're going to have to figure out.

00:08:40 Jordan Yates
Yeah, that's interesting. I never even thought about the impact of that. Because to me, it seems so natural. I feel like companies are constantly getting bought out in this industry, but I didn't think of the impact of the really big ones coming in who aren't typically based out of Midland and yeah, that's interesting. I see I'm learning something right now.

00:08:56 Kathy Shannon
Yeah. It's a changing landscape for us.

00:08:59 Jordan Yates
So a big thing that has evolved a lot, I mean constantly, is the technology. What kind of technology do you guys showcase at the museum?

00:09:08 Kathy Shannon
So we try and do a pretty good overview. So we start even with a beautiful diorama that shows you that this area was the Permian Sea, and that's why we're so blessed with the oil we have now. And then we move into a little bit of history, and then one of our big exhibits is the trucker, and it's a very futuristic, like a spaceship. My grandkids think it's a spaceship. But it's looking at technologies like drilling with lasers and using nanobots and independently run, like our Sea Spider can move on its own and go deeper in the ocean than people can go. But they took all of that for that exhibit from things that are being worked on. So it's not completely made up and foreign. And the great story, we had an event there and we were getting ready to shut down and a man got shut down in the Petro Trekker and we felt terrible like, " I am so sorry." He goes, " No, I had to go back. I had to see it again. You all used all the stuff we worked on at School of Mines. I recognize the drawings."

00:10:16 Jordan Yates
Oh my goodness.

00:10:17 Kathy Shannon
That was so neat to know that all of our research really did come from facts and things that people are working on. And of course we talk about hydraulic fracturing. We talk about primary, secondary and tertiary recovery. We go through all of that. We talk about the products, and so we cover it all but with a big umbrella. There's something we couldn't get super specific. We do have an exhibit on economics and because oil is a commodity.

00:10:47 Jordan Yates
It is.

00:10:47 Kathy Shannon
And people kind of think the oil companies set the price. And so trying to get that across that it doesn't work that way. OPEC has a little more impact on it than we do, but it's absolutely a commodity that's bought and sold. And so those are things that it's important for people to understand that they have just completely wrong concept of. But that would be thinking 7- Eleven sets the price of Coca- Cola.

00:11:12 Jordan Yates
Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

00:11:12 Kathy Shannon
It's the same thing. It doesn't happen that way. And so it's important to talk about those economics and talk about technologies and how they get it out, and they need to appreciate the work these guys put in and the technology they develop because it is absolutely amazing that you can turn a drill bit 10, 000 feet underground and hit something the size of a trashcan top and they can do it. And that's after three or four miles of drilling laterally. So what they have developed is absolutely incredible. And for these guys in the industry, they love it. They do it because they love it. It's not a job they have to go to every day. It is something like, " What can we figure out next?"

00:11:54 Jordan Yates

00:11:55 Kathy Shannon
And so that's been exciting is to meet these guys who have figured out all kinds of things. So it's a great industry.

00:12:00 Jordan Yates
Yeah, no, the morale is so much fun. I love the camaraderie of it and especially like you said, they're excited to be there because when you're in the industry and you get it, you understand how awesome it is.

00:12:12 Kathy Shannon

00:12:12 Jordan Yates
And you have fun with it. But I'm curious with the current society and the focus on sustainability and how people think oil and gas is bad. Like, " Oh my gosh, why do you do that?" Do you guys have anything that's focused on that aspect? The environmental impact within the museum?

00:12:32 Kathy Shannon
We don't have a big heavy environmental impact display. We have an exhibit called myth crackers, and so it will talk about, we use way more water to water golf courses than we use in the industry. But then that gives you a chance to talk about, but what they're doing now is they're figuring out how to recycle. There are companies out there. A great story for the industry was the CO2 flooding. Well, that was a waste product. And then somebody came up was like, " Can't we do something with this?" And they can. And so that was tertiary recovery. And then you have a company like Kinder Morgan and that's what they do from a product that 20 years ago was a waste product. And so that's the industry continually working on, these guys don't want to hurt the environment. I mean, they're big outdoor guys for the most part. They're not out there to ruin the environment. And so we do it, right now, this country drills for oil and gas cleaner than anyone in the world. And so if you think it makes sense to go buy oil from Venezuela where there's no rules on how dirty you can get the environment, and that's better than buying from your producers here that do it the cleanest, best way possible? And I think those are things people don't understand. And it's also not going to be a quick switch. If 96% of everything you have is oil and gas, most of us are not willing to go back to caveman times.

00:14:02 Jordan Yates
I'm not.

00:14:03 Kathy Shannon
Where you cook with fire and you wear skins. That's about what it is. And so you have, even deaths from climate have dropped to almost nothing because we can control our climate with oil and gas, with air conditioning, with heating. We've got warning systems, we've got things and it's all because of the good, abundant, reliable energy we have. And so it makes it a safer world for us. So it's actually a pretty rough world out there if we don't learn how to control it. And having access to energy. You look at the interior of Africa where a baby born a few weeks early there won't make it because they don't have electricity, plug an incubator in, where our babies will make it. And you're condemning these people to dying of emphysema at 40 because they're cooking inside their huts and breathing. Kids have asthma. It's not a pretty sight. So the whole point is to get this access to good, reliable energy to as many people as possible to make their lives better. And you pull that away, you're keeping those people in poverty. And frankly, a lot of the rest of us would end up there if you really think you can pull it out from under us.

00:15:18 Jordan Yates
And that's an interesting thing to me is we've mentioned many times the petrochemicals that are broken down for things like our clothing, rubber, plastics, farming. There's so much it goes into where it's like people say, " Go electric, get an electric car." And it's like, " Where do you think the materials come from?" And that's why I love that you guys have a museum dedicated to teaching people this stuff. We can't just expect people to know. How would they know? There's too much to know in this world.

00:15:44 Kathy Shannon
Exactly. And these people were in the music industry where they mixed the soundtracks for Disney. So they're not dummies at all. They just have no idea. She was just amazed at everything I told her. She knew nothing about the industry. And once they learned, because I remember looking at one young lady from Norway and she was pretty anti oil and gas. I'm like, " So how are you getting home?" Because I'm not going to get on the first electric airplane or row your own boat over. It was like, she never thought of that. I'm not getting on the first solar plane.

00:16:21 Jordan Yates
Yeah. Oh, my gosh.

00:16:22 Kathy Shannon
I mean this is all great and I think we can balance it. Think about a hospital with no petroleum products and no medicines.

00:16:28 Jordan Yates
Yeah, I mean that's your plastic gloves, like the bags inaudible, literally everything.

00:16:34 Kathy Shannon
And plus a lot of medicines are petroleum based. So there's a lot out there and they just, it's hard to wrap your head around how petroleum affects just every aspect of your life.

00:16:45 Jordan Yates
For sure. So with the fact that electric is getting integrated into the oil and gas industry, has the museum caught up yet to adding in that stuff? I know we have E- frac now we have other electric products that slowly creeping in. Is that something you guys have started integrating?

00:17:00 Kathy Shannon
It really isn't. We just have a broader picture. We talk about hydraulic fracturing because fracking, which I'm not ever allowed to use that term, it's always hydraulic fracturing.

00:17:11 Jordan Yates
Oh my goodness.

00:17:11 Kathy Shannon
But we don't get that specific, but we do brown bag lunches and we can talk about it. So there are things we can keep up with as we talk about it, but the exhibits aren't quite that specific.

00:17:28 Jordan Yates
They're also really expensive and time- consuming to make them, you don't just put it in there. There's some forethought that has to happen.

00:17:35 Kathy Shannon
The last renovation was 18 million, so it's not an easy thing to change all that out.

00:17:40 Jordan Yates
If anybody wants to donate another 18 million, you'll add it in.

00:17:44 Kathy Shannon
You come let me know. I'll talk to you.

00:17:46 Jordan Yates
Oh my goodness. Well, speaking of myths, what is like to you, the craziest myth that you guys have been able to crack in your myth crackers? Or your favorite, it doesn't even have to be the most outlandish.

00:17:58 Kathy Shannon
I'll tell you one of my favorite stories, and this was years ago. There was a couple from out of town and she looks at us and, what did she say? She wanted to know why we needed petroleum and why it was such a big deal. And it was just kind of fascinating. I'm like, I'm not sure where to start, but that purse you're carrying is a petroleum product and your car runs on it and it's made up. I mean, it's things like that. I think the myths with the water, it's really interesting. We water our golf courses using way more water. I'm trying to think. It's been a little while since I've been in there. And that oil comes from dinosaurs and technically dinosaurs are land reptiles and oil comes from sea life. Those are just fun things that are not a big deal, whether you know or you don't know, but it's just kind of fun. Just that this was the Permian Sea three times and that gives us our big, thick reservoirs. So I guess it's always just fascinating. They just have no idea, but make them think about a solar or an electric airplane and that'll usually get their attention.

00:19:05 Jordan Yates
Yeah, no. I think solar stuff is so fun in addition, but it's-

00:19:10 Kathy Shannon

00:19:10 Jordan Yates
It's a cool technology as well. I love energy. I love all energy, but I understand that there's time and place for each and every one. And when we talk energy transition, a lot of people think, " Oh, we're transitioning away from oil and gas." But it's like we're transitioning to a more energy diverse future-

00:19:26 Kathy Shannon

00:19:26 Jordan Yates
Where it's like we have all of it. We don't just have one. That would be silly.

00:19:29 Kathy Shannon

00:19:29 Jordan Yates
Why would we do that?

00:19:31 Kathy Shannon
Scott Tinker has a great start to one of his talks and he says, " I like cow or steak," and his wife likes vegetables and he goes, " I don't like ice cream." And so it's not a very good meal for just a steak. But you combine all of that together, it's a great meal and it works and it fills all these nutritional requirements. Well, that's what oil and gas and solar and wind and all of that. Solar and wind, they just don't have capacity yet. We can't figure out how to store it. We're a long ways from making it practical and add to the fact that the only way those turbines get to the wind field is on the back of a truck. And solar panels have a lot of plastic in them.

00:20:12 Jordan Yates
Oh, yeah.

00:20:12 Kathy Shannon
And those things don't recycle. And so people don't think about the waste of solar panels and of wind turbines. They cut those up and they bury them. And some of that's toxic in the land. Solar panels are highly toxic with all those things, and they haven't figured out how to strip those of the rare minerals they need so they go in the landfill and those aren't good for the land. So we've got to do better. I mean, we're just starting and we're going to learn and we're going to get it figured out and we're going to have a great balance at some point. We're just not there. And to think we're there is just plain foolish, really.

00:20:51 Jordan Yates
Yeah. I think it's so fun. I like this process and I'm typically somebody, I really enjoy the journey. It's not that I don't like getting to the end goal, but I feel like there's no end goal here. It's like we are just constantly evolving and there's so many other technologies and energy sources as well that we are slowly coming around to. So it's like, let's just pump the brakes. We don't need to cut people out. inaudible.

00:21:13 Kathy Shannon
Exactly. Exactly.

00:21:14 Jordan Yates
Let's just enjoy all of it.

00:21:15 Kathy Shannon
We'll get there.

00:21:16 Jordan Yates
We're lucky to have these options.

00:21:18 Kathy Shannon
We are. And there are pumping units out in the field that run on solar. It's not, we're against it, they're not somewhere where they can hook up and they run on solar. So the industry isn't anti anything. It's just like you said, it is just going to be a combination from everything and you get the best pieces of everything. You don't just force one thing through, you get it figured out and then you have the best of the best out there working. And so that's most efficient.

00:21:45 Jordan Yates
So something I'm curious about is typically the reactions people have before and after the museum, like little kids. What do kids come out thinking or questions that they normally have? What is their impression of seeing this stuff for the first time?

00:21:59 Kathy Shannon
I think they're fascinated because a lot of them know that their parents work in the industry, but they have no idea what they do. I used to ask and be like, " Whose parents work in the oil industry?" And they'd all raise their hands. I'm like, " So what does your dad do?" " I don't know." " What does your mom do?" " I don't know." And so they come out having a better understanding of what their parents get up and do every day, they go to work, but that's about all they know. And, " Well I work on this, I work on that. I look at maps, I figure out how deep the well's getting drilled." So I think it's fascinating because they know they work in it, but they just really don't know what in the world they do. And so they come back with a little bit better understanding of what mom and dad might be doing.

00:22:40 Jordan Yates
That's really cute. I remember growing up and I knew my dad worked in a car dealership. I was like, I honestly have no idea what he's doing there. And one day I was like, I genuinely don't know what my dad does. It is you ask them and they kind of explain it and then you're just like, I don't get it. But if I were to go see a museum of what he did, I would be like, oh, okay, cool. I appreciate it a little more.

00:22:59 Kathy Shannon
My dad loved it when I went to work for the petroleum museum, like, " Now you'll finally understand what I do." And I'm like, " You're right. I do."

00:23:05 Jordan Yates
That is so cute. So how did you decide that's what you wanted to do?

00:23:10 Kathy Shannon
I really came from a very much a volunteer background. I actually have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design. So that came in very handy with the renovations and being able to read blueprints and designing exhibits and figuring it all out. But museums always fascinated me. So I had been a volunteer at the Museum of Southwest. I had been a volunteer at the Haley Library. I've been a volunteer at the Commemorative Air Force Museum. And then the education job came open and I applied and they took a chance and hired me. I had worked with kids training, I'd worked with adults training. And so it was just this great background of all volunteer work that all came together to help me get this job. So it's an interesting way to get there. So people remember that everything you do along the way really adds to that depth you have as you go on.

00:24:07 Jordan Yates
And sometimes you can't really see it when you're in it, but then sometimes you take a step back and you're like, wow, this really was all building to something. Meanwhile, sometimes when you're making the decision, you're like, okay, I just need a job. I need to do this and that. But it's cool to look back and see your tenure there because you really have fully committed to this career. And I love to see people steadfast like that. I feel like a lot of people my age, it's like every year it's a different job, a different company, and they can't make up their minds. But I really respect seeing people actually see it through at one place. So I'm proud of you.

00:24:35 Kathy Shannon
Well, thank you. Thank you. It's been fun to start out in education. That was fun. And it was really good timing because museums in the late nineties were just figuring out that we couldn't just sit around and keep old stuff and you couldn't touch it. It's like, okay, that doesn't have a real sustainable point going forward. So in the late nineties, museums began to think, okay, we need to tell stories. Even if we have old stuff, there are great stories behind it, and so we need to do those stories and we need to work on this. And so it was just a fabulous time to get into the museum world, and so it just kind of grew from there. And so I was really lucky to be in it. And in the time where we really decided we needed to become relevant and be a part of our community, we want to be part of our community. And they really didn't do that before. So it was a great time to be in museums and I'm proud of where museums in general have come. It's a much more open space, inviting for all kinds of people. And you start with students and kiddos. If you don't have kiddos interested in science by about the third or fourth grade, you'll never have them interested. And so there's so many ways you can impact your community. I mean, when we do teacher workshops, I tell our people that help us fund it. I'm like, " You train one teacher, they go back and they train 30 kids." I mean, your multiplier effect is huge. So we are always working on trying to help our teachers because if you're an elementary school teacher, you didn't major in science, you're like, holy cow, I don't even know what to do.

00:26:12 Jordan Yates

00:26:12 Kathy Shannon
And so we do that and to help them get to where they want to go and just help. And I think it makes a difference. I really do.

00:26:21 Jordan Yates
Yeah. I mean, I feel like I've talked to a lot of people in manufacturing oil and gas and they're like, " When do we get people started?" And they're like, " Maybe in college and high school, middle school." I'm like, " No, we need to go all the way back." And then they're like, " How do we talk to kids? Where are they? Where do you find these kids? How do you inspire them?" But you guys have the best medium of educating these children and educating the educators. So it's a really great platform that you guys have. And it sounds like you're using it well.

00:26:45 Kathy Shannon
We are. We do. And it's just hands- on for science. I mean, I had coaches for science a lot of times in high school, and they just hand you worksheets and you had to read the book. Well, science is about exploding things and catching things on fire and making ooey, gooey stuff, and you can get kids hooked in that way. And we also have quite an assortment of animals at the museum. We have a wallaby, we have prairie dogs, we have snakes, we have giant tortoise. And I remember people would go, " Why do you have a wallaby?" It's like, " Because if I can get a kid interested in that wallaby, I've got them." And we talk about ecosystems and we talk about biology, and then science begins to get real and fun. And so there's lots of ways to do it. And you don't do it with a book and a worksheet.

00:27:29 Jordan Yates
I feel like animals are a bit more relatable than the other stuff. That's so smart. We're getting close to the end of our time, so I would love to ask for any pearls of wisdom that you have, anything you'd want to tell the people that are listening? Maybe it's young people interested in the industry or people who are skeptical. Anything you want to give advice on?

00:27:47 Kathy Shannon
Oh gosh. Young people and interested in the industry. You could not find a more exciting industry to be in. I think we are, I don't want to say this out loud, but I think we're getting a little more past the big booms and the big bust. And so you would have the big bust and kids were like, " Whew, not going into anything petroleum. I'm not going to have a job." And then we would have 10 to 20 years that you could hardly find a geologist because nobody wanted to be a geologist during those bust times. I feel like it's leveled out a little bit with better technology, which I think would encourage kids to say, " Hey, I want to be part of this." And there are so many ways to be involved in this industry. There are just thousands of different types of jobs. So I would encourage young people to think about it and think about your science and think about your math. And it is important. It's hard to go, " Why am I having to do this math class?" It's like, mmh. But you're going to need it later on. And so hang in there, stick with it. You can do it. And we look forward to inviting you into coming into this business because a great business to be in.

00:29:00 Jordan Yates
Amazing. Well, guys, I will put the information for the museum in the description of the episode, so if anybody wants to come visit, they can. And then I'll also put your LinkedIn, so if anyone wants to reach out to you or anything like that, is there any other ways that they should find you guys?

00:29:16 Kathy Shannon
We are on Facebook. I don't know that the museum has done well at keeping up their LinkedIn page, but all of our emails are on our website. So go to our website, look through it. You can click on all kinds of things and find out about programs or the Chaparral race cars or whatever, or those of us who work there. So go to our website, ww pbpetro. org.

00:29:39 Jordan Yates
Perfect. I'll put it in a description. Guys, thank you so much for listening to another episode of The Energy Pipeline. Kathy, thank you for coming on and I'll see you guys next week. Bye.

00:29:48 Jordan Yates
Come back next week for another episode of the Energy Pipeline, a production of the Oil and Gas Global Network. To learn more, go to


Kathy Shannon Bio Image


Kathy Shannon


Kathy Shannon recently retired from the Petroleum Museum as its Executive Director. She came to the Museum in 1995 as the Director of Education. With the addition of the Transportation Wing, Kathy led the Museum’s education focus toward science, capitalizing on the scientific principles the Chaparral Cars exhibit embodies. She was chosen to lead the Museum as Executive Director in November 2004.

Kathy has served as a leader in the Museum community as well as the Permian Basin community. She has served on the board of the Texas Association of Museums and was president of the Association from 2011-2012. Prior to that, she served on TAMEC, the Texas Association of Museums Education Committee and on the Permian Basin Museum Association. She has continually prioritized education by serving on the Trinity School Board and collaborating with the Texas Education Agency on revising the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) through the Texas Energy Council.

Jordan Yates Bio Image

Jordan YATES


Jordan Yates is a Marketing Engineer at a specialty ceramic capacitors company. Her interest in the sales and marketing side of the Manufacturing & Energy Industry have gained her recognition in the digital space, specifically LinkedIn. She is the host of her podcast, 'Failing For You' and The Energy Pipeline.