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Elena Melchert

Elena Melchert

Energia Consulting LLC

Elena Melchert is a petroleum engineer with over 40 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas sector including: commercial production operations, research and development, and domestic and international policy development.  She is the former Department of Energy’s (DOE) Director for Upstream Oil and Gas Research.  She began her career with “boots in the field” in Bakersfield, CA before moving to Washington, DC where she managed the multi-million-dollar research program in oil and gas exploration and production.  

Additional assignments included working at the White House supporting the Bush-Cheney Energy Policy Task Force as part of the Energy Policy Development Group –under President George W. Bush; U.S. Coordinator for Natural Gas in the Western Hemisphere – Western Hemispheric Energy Initiative under President Bill Clinton; National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling under President Barack Obama; and Transforming Produced Water from a Waste to a Resource - Water Security Grand Challenge under President Trump.  She authored Chapter 2 of the textbook titled Solid-Liquid Separation Technologies:  Application for Produced Water, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, which was released April 18, 2022 and is available from Amazon.   She has presented on various topics and published papers at various SPE Offshore Technology Conference, Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, and Annual Technology Conference and Exhibition.    

She completed the course of studies at the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, VA; Executive Certificate in International Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Master of Science Candidate in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California; course of studies under the Women’s Executive Leadership Program in Washington, DC; and Bachelor of Science in soil science at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  Having retired from DOE in 2021, Ms. Melchert continues her involvement in the oil and gas and subsurface sector as a podcast host of Oil and Gas Upstream, speaker, author, and consultant as President of Energy Consulting LLC.


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