In 1954, J.A. Mull, Jr. founded Mull Drilling Company. Having entered the oil business in 1936, he had considerable experience, skill, and confidence, and by 1954 was simply ready to be on his own. As one of his friends described, “J.A. had grown from being just a geologist to having the maturity of an oil finder ready to call his own shots”. J.A. also had an inexplicable, inner ambition to succeed and make his own way. Convinced the American dream was real, he believed both in himself and in the opportunity to start and build a business.
When J.A. launched Mull Drilling Company, he believed there would be one critical success factor. In his own words, it was: “being the type of geologist who can scan the information and visualize what nature has done to confuse geologic history. Then with imagination, one must rebuild the strata formations to locate trapped oil. It is only this type of thinking that will have any consistency in finding oil.”
While there were many booms and busts in both his business as well as the industry over the years, J.A. was fortunate to experience much success. He continued to run Mull Drilling Company until his death in 1982. He is credited, along with his partners, with discovering and developing many fields, such as the Spivey-Grabs field, throughout western Kansas during the ‘60s. By 1970, he and several partners had broadened their search for oil into eastern Colorado and were rewarded with the discovery of the Cheyenne Wells Field. Exploration continued and in 1979, Mull Drilling Company discovered the Sorrento Field, a new pay area, the Morrow Sand. Upon his death, the company had more than 200 producing wells in two states, many of which still produce today. The company had also become an important corporate citizen in many of the communities in which it operates.
It is worth noting that J.A. was described by many as an explorer and warrior. These two words describe him in business, and in the way he handled his life. While these traits could produce mixed results now and again, there is no doubt that he lived life BIG. He tackled new challenges with zeal. He challenged the status quo. He was always up for an adventure. He was fierce in adversity. He made an impact.
Since the 1970s MDC has focused most of its exploration and production operations in Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado. These exploration efforts have resulted in over 30 new field discoveries in these areas. MDC has expanded its exploration efforts into the Greater Green River Basin in SW Wyoming, into Central Montana and into Western Nebraska as well.
Several years after the death of J.A. Mull, Lewis Mull, his son, stepped in as Chief Executive Officer. He had worked both inside and outside the industry, and was well equipped to lead the charge. He continues to serve as the company’s Chairman of the Board. Today, Jennifer, Lewis’ daughter, is serving as the Chief Executive Officer. On the executive management team are also Mark Shreve, President and Steve Anderson, Senior Vice President.
Still partnering with many companies and individuals that have been involved since the beginning, Mull Drilling Company continues to identify and pursue opportunities for growth and expansion. With the help of experienced management and dedicated employees, all of whom take great pride in the company’s success and longevity, the Company continues to believe in a bright future.