After 10 years, Mustang Sampling Owner and CEO Kenneth Thompson is thankful for the success his company has achieved, but he isn’t resting on past accomplishments. Th
ompson is focused on bringing attention to the importance of natural gas sampling and offering solutions that work in the field. BIC Magazine recently sat down with him to learn more about the “Analytically Accurate” solution Mustang Sampling provides, the potential of LNG and who his mentors are.
Q: What led you to start Mustang Sampling?
A: Mustang Sampling was created in 2008 to fulfill the need for Analytically Accurate solutions in the natural gas sampling industry. Our company at the time, Valtronics, was supplying natural gas analyzers to several natural gas transmission companies. Those companies relied on us to provide accurate systems to determine the composition of their products, which in turn determined the value of the product and thus directly impacted revenue. We recognized, along with our customers, that standard best practices were not adequate to provide accurate compositions under many circumstances. The analyzers were accurate devices, but the natural gas reaching the analyzer was not the same as the natural gas in the pipeline itself. Changes in pressure and temperature between the pipeline and the analyzer were creating separation of the different natural gas components along the way, and the sample reaching the analyzer was simply not representative of the product being bought or sold. I helped create Mustang Sampling to design products and systems that would deliver a representative sample to the analyzer or, simply stated, to provide an Analytically Accurate solution.
Q: What is the biggest news at Mustang Sampling right now?
A: Our biggest news is twofold. First, we are very fortunate to be located in the heart of the Marcellus Shale region of the country and have really benefited from close relationships in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. We continue to grow the company and innovate in a very dynamic environment, and the growth has been very exciting for all of us. The second part of the answer is the potential of LNG exports from our country due to the natural gas surplus created from the shale. We were initially involved with the LNG import at Cove Point, Maryland, and created some expertise and products. Both of those are now being deployed at export facilities globally.
Q: Who is your mentor? Why?
A: I have always taken my inspiration from people with independent spirits who are not afraid to be different or try unconventional solutions. And of course I have always admired those with true entrepreneurial mentalities who aren’t afraid to take a risk. I try to take inspiration from everyone ranging from John Wayne to Elvis if it helps me. I also admire people like Elon Musk, and we hope to be part of an LNGpowered rocket engine one of these days.
Q: What’s the most important thing a person should know before taking a career path similar to yours?
A: That person would need to understand the level of commitment needed to both run a company and also serve the customer. Between the two activities, there is little time for anything else. I have been very fortunate to have the full support of my family and local community to make it all possible, because you can’t do this part-time.
Q: What is a “fun fact” about you people might not know?
A: A lot of people don’t know I started my career as a merchant marine and spent years traveling up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
For more information, visit www.mustangsampling.com or call (713) 482-6930.