Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

malcolm abel

Malcolm D. Abel was born September 10, 1924, oldest child of William Chester and Annie May Powell. He was born in Bosque County, Texas. He graduated Valedictorian from Plains High School at age 15 in 1940. He worked in the oil fields of West Texas and started his college education at Texas Tech University. He entered The University of Texas in 1944 and was in the U S Navy V-12 Program, and was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served in the Pacific in 1945. He graduated UT Austin with a degree in petroleum engineering in 1947.

Abel married Verna May Kelly in 1946. They moved to Midland after he graduated from UT Austin. He was employed by Plymouth Oil Company and was responsible for the exploration operations in West Texas. He was later drilling supervisor for BBM Drilling Co., where he was responsible for 48 active drilling rigs. In 1956 he went to work for W.E. Bakke Oil independent oil and gas exploration company. He formed Abel and Bancroft in 1961 and explored for oil and gas in South and West Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Alberta, Canada. He started M.D. Abel Co. in 1964 which is still an active company today. He was also the executive Vice President of UNC Texas a wholly owned subsidiary of United Nuclear Corporation from 1973 to 1983 which conducted exploration in Texas, New Mexico and Kansas.

While residing in Midland, Texas he was active in Boys Scouts of America, and the Confederate Air Force (now Commemorative), and was on the board of advisors for the Petroleum Museum. He was past President of Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, and was recognized as Mr. Tipro in 1983, he was active in this organization for over 30 years. He was recognized as a distinguished Graduate of the University of Texas in 1975. He was on the Engineering Board Foundation from 1967 until his death in 1996. He established the Malcolm D. Abel Centennial Endowed Scholarship in Petroleum Engineering in the department at The University of Texas at Austin.

Abel passed away in February of 1996. He is survived by his three children, four grandsons, two granddaughters (one deceased) and nine great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. He was a proud supporter of UT football.




Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208