Women in Energy: Byrony Coan, Opportune

Presented by:

Oil and Gas Investor
Oil and Gas Investor

Although her father worked in the oil and gas industry, Byrony Coan didn’t intend to cross paths with the energy sector during her career. Now, at Opportune LLP, she gets to use her position as principal to lead her team to sharpen their expertise in the energy industry.

In a male-dominated field like oil and gas, Coan felt that she had to prove herself to be taken seriously. However, through demonstrating her knowledge of the field and establishing a diverse support system, she rose to prominence in every space she worked in.

“Working with mostly back-office clients, I certainly have not had the same experiences as a female in the field would,” Coan said. “Gender and age were always something I had to overcome in the sales cycle. Establishing myself as a subject matter expert quickly and confidently was key.”

Unexpected beginnings

“My dad was in oil and gas working on offshore rigs for a good portion of my childhood. I didn’t plan to join the energy industry, but when I interviewed with Quorum Software, I recognized an exciting alternative to a traditional mechanical engineering role, and that was appealing. The role happened to involve the design and development of upstream back-office software, which has been the focus of my now 20-year career.”

Providing guidance

“Making the transition from software to business advisory was an exciting step. I joined Opportune almost nine years ago, and it has been fulfilling to help our clients with best practices, asset integration and process improvement. I now have had the pleasure of working with almost all the software vendors in the space and can help clients navigate the complexities of choosing the right solutions for their companies, be it a process improvement or a software solution.”

Enduring commitment

“At the end of 2021, I was promoted to the inaugural class of principals at Opportune. The aspect of the promotion that is most meaningful to me is the recognition of the development of others. Growing others’ expertise has always been something that I find extremely fulfilling. When I joined Opportune, our process and technology group historically did a lot of trading and risk management, and midstream work. Together with other Opportune upstream leadership, we have developed a team of experts ready to tackle the most complex business problems.”

Transitional period in energy

“The transformation is already well underway; it just takes time. I think those that historically entered the industry were usually raised in a family already familiar with oil and gas, and it is exciting to see that change. There is no better time to get into the energy industry. Oil and gas specifically are embarking on a monumental transformation that will bring with it opportunities we have never seen before. You don’t have to drill or own property to make a big impact in this transition.”

  • My name is a misspelling. When my mom was pregnant with me, she lived in the U.K. and my dad was typically on a rig in the North Sea, so they communicated over shortwave radio. My mom told him she wanted to name me Bryony, and my dad misheard. When asked to fill out the paperwork, he wrote Byrony.

  • I am a proud member of the self-proclaimed “Unicorn Club,” an unlikely group of misfits with varying backgrounds. We all crossed paths in our oil and gas careers, adopted each other and are now each other’s support.

  • My husband and our three girls, all four of which are born and raised Texans, love to surf.

Click here for a full list of “25 Influential Women in Energy” honorees for 2022.

Oil and Gas Investor’s 25 Influential Women in Energy logo
Oil and Gas Investor’s 25 Influential Women in Energy logo