• 2018 HENAAC Luminary •

Maria Victoria
Brito S.

Sr. Geoscientist, Regional Ventures NAB
Shell Exploration & Production

Shell Oil Company

As a Senior Geoscientist with the Mexico Exploration team for the past two years, Maria Victoria Brito S. has been responsible for determining drilling targets for deepwater exploration in a largely unexplored area.  In her role as the subsurface coordinator for one of the basins in Mexico, she developed the technical recommendations that led Shell to successfully bid on and win four leases in the Campeche Basin. The company has committed to spend over $240 million over the next four years on the project, with plans to drill seven wells in the area.

On several occasions, Ms. Brito’s work impacted major monetary decisions by suggesting better target locations or changing a well trajectory to avoid potential dangerous zones in the subsurface.

Ms. Brito is one of only three Latinos at Shell selected to participate in the Rising Latino Leaders program at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.  The program is designed to give high potential individuals the tools to strategically respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by cultural differences in leadership development.

As a single mother of a three-year-old boy, Ms. Brito has done a remarkable job successfully maintaining a balance between her young family and her demanding career. Born in Caracas, Venezuela and descended from Portuguese-immigrant grandparents, she grew up in a humble household where her parents sacrificed to pay for her private education. By the age of 16, she had been accepted into one of the top two public universities in the country, and was one of only 300 students admitted from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants.

Ms. Brito graduated from Simon Bolivar University with a B.S. in Geophysical Engineering and found work with the international oil service company Schlumberger.  She spent the following year working on a seismic acquisition boat, doing 13-hour shifts, 5-10 weeks at a time, with only one week off in between trips. During her down-time she studied English and completed all the requirements to get accepted into a master’s degree program at the University of Houston, where she also served as both a teaching assistant and a research assistant before completing her M.S. degree in Geophysics.