Katarina Kosten, 4th year Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science (Geology, Applied Geology and Geophysics double major) student – University of Adelaide.
Katarina is an aspiring oil and gas professional studying Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees at the University of Adelaide.
She grew up in Munich, Germany, and during her schooling, Katarina briefly thought that studying tunnel construction would be interesting. However, instead of studying, Katarina moved to Australia. After two years working as a farmhand, she settled in Cairns and worked in tourism.
Three years later, Katarina decided to move to an industry in which she could build a career. “I wanted to experience a new industry in which I could have a long and successful career,” she said. “I thought about what my perfect job would look like and drilling ticked all the boxes. I researched what qualifications I needed to get into the industry, acquired them and got hired with AJ Lucas as a driller’s assistant.”
During her two years at AJ Lucas, Katarina worked on drilling rigs in several locations in Queensland and New South Wales, mainly around coal mines performing diamond drilling, coring, and air drilling.
When she was made redundant, Katarina briefly despaired for her future.“I thought that this was the end and all my efforts were for nothing,” she said. However, she quickly bounced back.“I made a phone call and had a job the next day with Interdrill on a gold drilling contract.
"Later on, I heard about a job as a roughneck with Australian Drilling Services for a three-week re-entry contract near Broome. This is when Katarina joined the oil and gas industry, “I took it and loved every minute of it" she said.
"During that time, Saxon Energy Services was hiring for their coal seam gas operations in the Surat Basin. I was hired as a roughneck and worked with Saxon in the Surat Basin and then later in the Cooper Basin.”
She studied for a Bachelor of International Studies with a major in Arabic and sub-major in International Relations all while working on the rigs. “I had a lot more time off going from a 2:1 roster in mineral drilling to a 2:2 roster in oil & gas drilling and decided that having time and money during my 2 weeks off was a dangerous combination, so I made sure that I wasn't bored during my time off,” she said.
Two years later, Katarina resigned from Saxon to take a year off, visit her family, travel, and then take up a traineeship offer from Schlumberger, but her plans were foiled because of a downturn in the oil and gas industry. “Four months after I quit a major downturn hit which took longer than everyone anticipated (to recover),” she said.
“It was then that I decided to start studying petroleum engineering. I was sad that I couldn’t go back on rigs, but I was looking forward to learning more about the industry.”
Katarina was interested in joining the Petroleum Club for a while before joining in March this year, lured by the calibre of the speakers and discussions on important oil and gas-related topics. “I used to see PCWA’s events on my LinkedIn feed and always wanted to attend,” she said. “Of course, this was not possible from Adelaide. As soon as all events went online due to COVID-19, I immediately joined.”
When not working, Katarina loves hiking and reading and is interested in languages and the intricacies of human brain function.
Although she has seen many interesting spots during her travels around the world, she lists Iceland, Oman, and Russia as some of her fondest memories. “I have been able to learn so much about the industry through my studies, attending conferences, and engaging with industry societies such as the PCWA.
“The last four years as a student have been more enriching than I could have ever imagined.”
Aside from her membership with the Petroleum Club, Katarina is the vice president at the SPE Adelaide University Student Chapter, external liaison affiliate at PESA SA/NT, assistant treasurer of the federal Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the treasurer of the Young Petroleum Professionals SA/NT.