COO Kevin Karella talks to GOMC magazine about his career in the oil and gas industry.

Name: Kevin Karella
Company: C Company General Contractors
Title: Chief Operations Officer

GOMC: Which play are you located in? 
Karella: Bakken (North Dakota).

GOMC: What service do you provide in the oilfields?
Karella: Hydroexcavation and spill response management.

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GOMC: What equipment do you use on a daily basis?
Karella: Super Product’s Mud Dog hydrovac, Vactor’s HHX hydrovacs and Katch Kan’s zero spill systems.

GOMC: Why did you decide to enter this industry?
Karella: The density and intensity of the work in the Bakken Shale. It’s a relatively new play that gave great opportunities for success. Even though the oil business has been around a long time, the innovation and speed of technology advancement is astounding. The challenges of safely getting oil out of the ground and to market without destroying the environment in and of itself is amazing, then add in a climate that ranges from 110 degrees to 40 below zero with wind chills that dip to negative 100 at times, tends to offer ample opportunities for adventure.

GOMC: What is your favorite or least favorite part of the workday?
Karella: It’s all good, all day and all night. We are a 24/7 company. I love figuring out how to complete the mission with the tools and team members we have. At times it is like a Rubik’s cube. You just have to keep turning it in your mind until you see a way. We have many different roles in the Bakken and understanding how to bring success to a problem is fulfilling. When it comes to oil spills, we love being the hero! We show up with our big trucks in an emergency and we help keep our environment clean and our clients are very grateful as well. At the end of the day it’s a great feeling and it is never boring.

Related: Blog: Gas and Oil Fuel North Dakota’s Rise

GOMC: What is something your co-workers don’t know about you?
Karella: I’m an open book. I have a strong military background and am a service disabled combat helicopter pilot flying scouts and dust off medevac. My two sons followed me into the military as I followed by dad. One son was an army combat medic and the other went into the Marines. I have 10 nephews and one niece that followed me as well. My son Josh was severely wounded in action in Iraq and we lost my son Jason, the Marine, in Afghanistan. They are my heroes because freedom is never free.

GOMC: What do you do with your time away from the oilfields?
Karella: I hunt, fish, fly airplanes or helicopters, boat, but most of all spend time with my wonderful wife, kids and grandkids. We have a remote cabin in Alaska where we must either fly out, boat out or snow machine depending on the time of year. There’s no electricity out there, but lots of dominoes and cards with a roaring fire and kerosene lamps. My wife’s grandfather homesteaded the cabin and the cabin was built from the trees on the land.

GOMC: If you weren’t working in the oilfields, what job would you be doing?
Karella: Flying in support of God’s missionaries in some far off place where they need me the most.

Related: Do You Have a Risk Management Plan?

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