Barbara Canales

B.S.P.G.E., 1989
President, Canales Exploration LLC

Barbara Canales earned a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1989. After graduating from law school in Houston, she became a co-owner of BNP Petroleum, an exploration and production company. She has remained active in the energy industry since then, a rare example of a female manager in this male-dominated field.

BNP Petroleum develops natural gas resources in southern Texas. During her time at BNP, the company leased more than 80,000 acres in Padre Island national sea shore and surrounding Laguna Madre waters. When Barbara's role expanded to governmental affairs, she lobbied successfully to the U.S. Department of the Interior for a balanced approach to oil and gas development in environmentally sensitive areas. BNP Petroleum was then commended by the National Park Service for outstanding efforts in securing a responsible approach to protecting the Island's natural resources and habitat.

Barbara began assisting Canales and Simonson, her father's law firm, with special projects. She remained co-owner of BNP Petroleum and TSE Equities. The latter is a real estate company for downtown Corpus Christi, the city where she lives.

In January 2005, Barbara started Canales Exploration LLC, an exploration and production company. It leases thousands of southern Texas acres, and will assist in developing their marketing prospects for natural gas, and the drilling, completion, and downstream marketing of gas products.

Her community involvement includes serving as chairwoman of the Mayor's Millennium Committee, and a member of the advisory board of UT's Marine Science Institute, the board of governors of the South Texas Institute for the Arts, and the advisory board of the Ronald McDonald House. She formerly served as a member of the division of the American Cancer Society known as VICTORY and the Texas Land Commissioner's Coastal Initiatives 2004 board, as well as the Texas Higher Education Planning Committee.

Barbara supports the College as a Friend of Alec, and is a Life Member of the Texas Exes. She has five children: Caroline, David, Natalie, Daniel and Jacqueline Black.

DEG Honorees

A "Distinguished Engineering Graduate" (DEG) is a graduate who has presented him or herself to the world as a consummate professional and dedicated engineer. Learn more about past DEG honorees.