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Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering

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July 27, 2009 Printer friendly editionEmail to a friendDiggDel.icio.usOff the ClockRich Bedell, Marathon Oil Garyville refinery managerby Christian Moises Rich Bedell (Photo courtesy Marathon Oil) ADVERTISEMENTAge: 54 Family: wife, Gwen; twins Matt and Sarah, 22 Education: bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, Lehigh University; master's degree in petroleum engineering, University of Houston Hometown: Houston Rich Bedell grew up with a dad who worked as a chemical engineer at Exxon.

"Growing up in Texas in the middle of the oil patch, it's not too unusual I ended up in the oil patch," said Bedell, who joined Marathon Oil in 1979 as a processor engineer at the Garyville facility.

He's worked at the refinery four different times since then.

"I guess every decade since the 1970s," he said, adding that it's not unusual in the oil business to work at different refineries as careers progress.

He's now refinery manager at the Garyville site, where a roughly $3.2 billion expansion and upgrade — the most expensive construction job in state history — is about to wrap up.

Are your twins following in the family footsteps? One is a chemical engineer, and one is working on a petroleum engineering degree.

Do friends or family get angry with you when gas prices rise? Of course.

Everyone always wants to know why, so you're always having to explain why prices are going up.

Does the size of the new facility intimidate you? It's exciting.

For an engineer to see us building something like this ...

this is good stuff.

The challenges are very different than anything we've experienced.

Were you here for the oil bust? Which one? I was in Texas for the 1980s bust but was back in Garyville by 1988.

Do you fear another bust? It's a big concern.

This refinery is well positioned to be successful.

For the country as a whole, I worry about what's there for my kids and what it means for some of the Gulf Coast.

If you weren't in petroleum engineering, what would you be doing? I'd probably be fishing.

I do that a lot better than I play golf.

What's the one that got away? The ones that get away are always the big ones, right? Do you have a favorite lure? Lately it's been an H&H baby bull (minnow).•Read CommentsLeave a commentName:Email:You have characters left.Enter text shown in picture below: Leave this field empty
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