Roscoe Arnold Cattell, 89, a retired chief of the petroleum and natural gas division of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, died Wednesday at Fairfax Hospital after a stroke.

Mr. Cattell began his career as a petroleum engineer for Pacific Oil in California. He later worked for oil companies in Britian and Algeria and for the Bureau of Mines in Oklahoma.

In 1921, after a further period in private industry, he became a natural gas engineer with the bureau and subsequently served as superintendant at the agency's Petroleum Export Station in Bartlesville, Okla., for several years. From 1925 to 1933, he was chief of the bureau's helium division. He was then named chief of the petroleum and natural gas division.He retired in 1962.

He was a author of a number of Bureau of Mines publications in his fields.

Mr. Cattell was born in New Sharon, Iowa, and earned a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from the yuniversity of California in 1916.

In World War II, he served with the Army Transporation Corps in France.

He was a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metalllurgic Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Gas Association.

Mr. Cattell's wife of 45 years, the former Ruth Brown, died in 1971.

Survivors include a son, Robert A., of Fairfax; a daughter, Betty C. Williams of Blacksburg, Va.; a sister Edna C. Brooks of Carmel, Calif., and six grandchildren.