Marathon Oil's drilling location in Oklahoma

An advocate for safety

Oklahoma city, Oklahoma
February 2019


As Health, Environment and Safety (HES) & Regulatory Manager in Oklahoma, Sean Flynn is a tireless advocate for safety; it’s his number one reason for coming to work every day. But his commitment to living our values doesn’t stop there. Last fall, Sean received the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association (OKOGA) 2018 Member of the Year Award in recognition of his work with industry peers, service companies and Oklahoma state and local agencies to develop safe and responsible E&P operations practices.

Sean’s always had a commitment to advocacy, as his career path shows – he started out as a lawyer. “Making the jump from law to HES isn’t really as unusual as it sounds,” laughed Sean. “I’ve just always really cared about getting to the source of the problem, stopping it before it starts.”

Sean started out in private practice as an environmental and litigation attorney. He says, “It seemed I was always counseling clients after things had gone wrong. When I had the opportunity to join Marathon Oil in 2006 as an environmental, safety and security lawyer, I jumped at the chance to go in-house and provide more proactive advice.”

Sean moved from Law to Corporate HES in 2009. “Working in corporate HES gave me more insight into operational issues, and our risk management practices.”

In 2014, Sean took on the role of HES and Regulatory Manager for the Company’s Oklahoma resource play. “I moved to being fully embedded with the operations team, and now I’m responsible for implementing those programs to help address the safety risks inherent in our business.

"I get to lead a team on the front lines of not just helping to prevent accidents, but changing the way we work to bring performance and safety in tune. I believe that we can be both safe and high-performing.”

Sean notes many Marathon Oil team members had a memorable influence on his career path choices. “There’s really too many to count, particularly when you consider the operations leaders that I’ve worked with over the years, whose knowledge and support helped me transition to a more operations-focused role. For example, Martin Stuart, now VP – Planning, was the Production Operations Manager in Oklahoma when I came into the asset. He was a great example of a leader who was committed to both safety and performance, believing that safety works as a part of the operations team.

And Scott Hudson, who retired last year from Corporate HES after 36 years with the company, was really instrumental in helping me to understand how to drive safety programs in a business unit."

Sean says he was extremely honored by the recognition from OKOGA, and sees it as the result of another team effort. This was the second consecutive year that a Marathon Oil employee received the honor.


“When I came to Oklahoma in 2014, I got to work closely with operations right from the outset, to challenge ourselves as a team to see how we could help improve safety across the asset. We looked deep into our processes, programs and behaviors to affect change, and I’m really proud of the efforts of that team.  While safety performance hinges on a host of factors, 2015 ended up as one of Oklahoma’s best safety performance years, and the team’s efforts absolutely contributed to that performance.”

Sean says he was extremely honored by the recognition from OKOGA, and sees it as the result of another team effort. “This was the second consecutive year that a Marathon Oil employee received the honor- Will Houser won the award in 2017. It really demonstrates how we’re taking a leadership role in advocacy on behalf of our company and our industry. We’re working internally and with peers to develop guidelines and practices that allow us to operate while also ensuring that all operators take the right steps to mitigate risks.”

Off the job, Sean enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, working out, and working in his garage. “I want to do my part in helping to make sure everyone goes home the same way they came to work. I’m proud to work for a company that cares as much about this as I do.”


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