From the Marcellus Shale extending from Pennsylvania to West Virginia to the Bakken Formation in Montana and North Dakota, the oil and natural gas boom is hitting home in the U.S.; Rodenberg Diversified (RD) is at the center of the buzzing industry. Formed in 2002 as a local contractor, the company’s first major work began in 2011. The Missouri-based contractor and maintenance provider has since established relationships with big-name players in the oil and natural gas field by going where others refuse to go with a team renowned for high quality, safe delivery.
Charles Rodenberg Jr., founder and now president of RD formed the company in 2002, following in his father’s footsteps. “My father was in the industry from the mid-1950s and I started my career in the industry in the 1980s,” recalls Charles Jr.
With more people just now jumping on the oil and gas bandwagon, Charles Jr. is a bit old school. “We’re facing a lost generation in our industry with oil being at $12.00 to $20.00 a barrel in the 1980s and 1990s, there were few people who got into the industry at that point,” he explains. “Thanks to my father, I grew up around the old-timers of the 1960s.”
With old-school know how on his side, Charles Jr. first formed RD to fill a need for a local city contract. “That was in 2002, but the pipeline business really started developing in 2010,” he reveals. “I started attending auctions and purchasing equipment for 30 cents on the dollar. It was a little bit of a gamble with the onset of the economic downturn.”
But work picking up on the Marcellus Shale opened a window of opportunity for RD. “On our first major project, RD built out part of Laser Northeast Gathering System, which was sold to Williams Mid-Stream,” shares Charles Jr. “We did everything; the pipeline, facility and compression station work and interconnecting systems to tie it together on the north and south end.”
Quality people at the core
This job and the natural gas activity in throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia helped propel the company into the growth period it is now experiencing; however, Charles Jr. says it’s his team that has truly sustained the company.
“After spending most of my adult life ‘on the job,’ on right of ways all over the country, I learned quickly that a company is no better than its people,” he considers. “That’s why RD has focused on supervision and collecting the right people with the right skills. We have the best people at the top and the rest takes care of itself.”
A critical aspect of excellent work is doing it safely, for personnel, for local citizens and for the environment. “There is no need to take shortcuts and chances when you possess the knowledge to perform the work correctly, “says Charles Jr.” There is not a shortcut to this knowledge; it can only be gained through field experience and only through experience gained around others that have the proper knowledge themselves.”
According to Charles Jr., safety knowledge and the record to back it up, makes or breaks a company in this business. “Major oil and gas companies will not allow you onto the bid list until you have met acceptable standards,” adds Charles Jr. “Our record is really starting to help us and it’s winning more and more jobs.”
Charles Jr. assures his well-prepared team isn’t afraid of a challenge. “We’re a fairly small contractor, but we’ll deliver,” he asserts. “As far as the degree of difficulty, there isn’t much we’ll shy away from, we actually prefer the difficult jobs.” RD frequents rough terrain for new construction, installation and large-scale pipeline maintenance.
One such job is RD’s installation of 4,350 feet of 16-inch pipeline for Anterra Resources in West Virginia. “We had the project in service in 13 days while experiencing challenging weather conditions,” Charles Jr. explains. “This is commonly known as some of the roughest terrain in the western half of the state. This sets RD apart, because not everyone can work in these conditions.”
No matter the conditions, RD delivers a complete scope of pipeline service. “We try to hit all sectors of the pipeline business; new construction, as well as facility and fabrication work, but we’re now focusing more on maintenance work for major cross-country transporters,” continues Charles Jr. “There’s more cross-country construction in the future and we have the know how to deal with new mandates and regulations.”
An industry on fire
RD is currently working with Tallgrass Energy on its Pony Express pipeline project. “RD has the contact covering all environmental requirements on the three spreads running from Kansas to Wyoming, approximately 450 miles in length” adds Charles Jr. “We presently have many MSA’s in place, with the major oil and gas companies, and we are looking forward to a substantial growth period over the upcoming years.”
According to Charles Jr., RD couldn’t be in a better position, as the oil and natural gas industry continues to be one of the leading economic sectors in the U.S. “You can’t beat this industry, right now,” he reveals. “There’s an industrywide shortage of skilled labor, project managers, engineers, fabricators – you name it. This sector is really pulling the rest of the economy along right now and there’s a lot of long-term potential. It’s a white-hot industry.”
And centered in it all is Rodenberg Diversified, delivering a time-tested, skilled team with old-school know how and appreciation for the industry.
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