Four high school friends in Albany, Texas, with four personalities and four disciplines, banded together in 1986 to form a new oil and gas producing company, Momentum Operating Company, Inc. Each of the owners brought to the table a strong educational background and experiences.

Mike Parsons, president, is a graduate of McMurry University and Southern Methodist University with a degree in finance and accounting. Vice president Don Tidwell attended the petroleum engineering school at Texas A&M University. Momentum’s treasurer, Lynn Tidwell Neff, is a business graduate of Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), and company secretary Bob Tidwell has a business degree from the same university. Their combined work backgrounds include banking, oil and gas production, oil field services, and teaching.

“But all of those diplomas don’t replace field experience,” Parsons said. “As owners, we have a ‘nuts and bolts,’ hands-on mentality. All of us have learned the business from top to bottom. We have graduate degrees in roustabouting, pumping and well-servicing, and we believe that is the key to our success.

“We elected to name our company Momentum due to the fact that we reflected on where we had been and where we wanted to be in the future and believed that with the good Lord’s help we had the ‘momentum’ to accomplish some of these things,” Parsons said.

Momentum is based in its hometown of Albany, Texas, population 2,500 people. “We run a lean ship with 15 tremendous, dedicated employees,” Parsons said. The company, which is 100 percent owned by its four founders, began purchasing and developing waterflood projects in West Central Texas in 1986 and moved into drilling and production. Future plans include deeper horizontal drilling activity in the area.

In 1990 Momentum completed its first acquisition in the Panhandle West field from Texaco. Today the company has approximately 200 wells in the Panhandle West field and 250-to-300 in West Central Texas.

“Since we don’t rely on investors to acquire our leases, we believe it helps our company to move more rapidly and productively,” Parsons added.

Momentum has had a great deal of success with its acquisitions in the Texas Panhandle. “We really like operating in the Texas Panhandle,” he explained. “We believe there is an opportunity for producers who are low-cost operators, work hard and take care of their business.”

GPM Gas Corp. gathers and processes most of Momentum’s gas in the Texas Panhandle. “Over the last 10 years Momentum has both sold and marketed gas to 25-to-30 different companies,” Parsons said. “GPM is superior both in pricing and services in the field. GPM far exceeds all other companies in honesty, dependability and integrity. Almost 99 percent of our gas goes to GPM in the Texas Panhandle – 100 percent of it would if GPM had pipelines in all of our areas.

“GPM employees in the Borger office – Cheryl Ogilvie, Gary Thompson, producer settlements employee Karen Ladd in Bartlesville and Kevin Lillard, one of your field personnel – have been extremely helpful to us and responsive to our needs,” Parsons continued. “Field personnel, such as Leroy McCall, are always going above and beyond the call of duty.

“GPM is just a class company,” he added. “You ask someone a question, they give you a straight answer. If they don’t know the answer, they get right back to you. I mention this because it is unusual today because most major companies don’t do that.

“The minute we buy a lease in the Texas Panhandle, with GPM I can be on pay status, be paid correctly and accurately, on time, with no measurement problems during the first month. Our experience reflects the fact that we don’t get this kind of response from other companies. It’s real refreshing.”

Momentum’s plans for the future are to push for high quality, long-life reserve acquisitions in the core areas in West Central Texas and the Texas Panhandle. The owners also are looking at possible acquisitions in West Texas and New Mexico.

“If the window closes in the acquisitions market or we feel like there aren’t sufficient opportunities in the future, we’ll develop and drill additional wells in our core areas with a primary focus on the Texas Panhandle,” Parsons said.

The company also plans to make use of GPM’s field information and technology services. GPM is currently building its infrastructure in Momentum’s producing areas, and the service will be available to the company by yearend. “We will have instant access to production information,” Parsons said. “We’ll be able to respond more quickly and take advantage of more consistent run times, and it will give our field personnel critical information in order to do a better job.”

Like many successful entrepreneurs, dedication isn’t just to work. These four owners are active participants in the lives of their families, communities and churches. They have a total of 13 children and serve their communities through participation in civic matters, including activities such as the hospital district board and city council.

GPM Magazine, volume 4, number 4, used by permission.