University of Wisconsin–Madison

Bill Fitchen

Occidental Oil & Gas Corp.
BS 1987Email Bill:  william_fitchen@oxy.com
Bill’s LinkedIn page:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/William/FitchenBill Fitchen

My time in Weeks Hall taught me three keys to success:  the importance of multiple working hypotheses (Bob Dott), the value of outcrop analogs and folksy aphorisms (Lloyd Pray), and that “Structure is the Key” (Cam Craddock). Joking aside, these outstanding educators, along with Charlie Byers, molded a generation of soft-rock geologists, myself among them.

I am currently a Chief Geologist with Occidental Oil & Gas Corp.  The past ten years with Oxy have been full of adventure, with production, development, and exploration assignments in Milan, Italy; Tripoli, Libya; Muscat, Oman; and Houston, Texas.  Despite the occasional challenges, my family and I have greatly enjoyed the experience of living and working overseas.  Prior to Oxy I worked five years with Exxon in Houston as a research geologist, teaching courses in carbonate geology and sequence stratigraphy, performing core and outcrop description projects, and doing reservoir characterization research and applications.

I hold an M.A. and Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  At UT, I worked for several years as a research assistant at the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, as a teaching assistant, and as a summer intern for BP and Exxon.  My graduate degrees involved field work on the Permian of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico; Lloyd Pray served on my Ph.D. committee.

Much of my career has been focused on carbonate stratigraphy and reservoir characterization, with the goal of maximizing the economic recovery of oil and gas.  I’ve been fortunate to have experienced a wide variety of jobs in the energy industry and can claim some experience in research and academia.  I would hope that some of that experience could be useful to the undergraduate or graduate student seeking career advice.  I look forward to hearing your stories and aspirations.