Michael (Mike) Cantrell was born and raised in Oklahoma, where his family has strong ties to the oilfield. Cantrell's grandfather was a driller in the 1920's, eventually starting his own business in the 1950's, which Cantrell's father joined a few years later. In 1968, his father shifted into the production side of the business, where Cantrell gained hands-on experience in the field, accompanying his father in business from an early age.
Cantrell attended East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While Cantrell was, and still is, keenly interested in psychology, he wanted a career in which he could work for himself and decided to continue on the family legacy in the petroleum industry. In 1975, Cantrell started Oklahoma Basic Economy Corporation, an Ada, Oklahoma based oil and gas exploration and production company specializing in enhancing production in more mature formations, serving as President until 2000. That year, Cantrell sold Oklahoma Basic Economy Corporation and a few months later, founded Cantrell Investments LLC, an oil and gas investment company, with assets primarily in Oklahoma., Texas and Kansas. Around that time, Cantrell decided to leave his longtime home in Oklahoma and relocated to Plano, Texas, just outside Dallas. A few short years later, in 2006, he moved back to Oklahoma.
In 2009, Cantrell accepted a consulting position with Continental Resources, where he was an integral part of building the company's Government Relations Division, eventually serving as Vice President of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs. While at Continental, Cantrell maintained his oil and gas interests and upon leaving the company in March 2013, shifted his focus back to Cantrell Investments.
As a longtime veteran, Cantrell notes that this industry is "an exciting place to work," crediting his dedicated employees - many of whom have been with him for years, if not decades - for their team's overall success. He also points out that it is an added benefit to have assets performing for you, and in turn generating profit, even while you sleep!
Even though he has no shortage to choose from, Cantrell easily considers his greatest accomplishment to be raising two motivated children - both successful in their chosen fields - who he claims are even smarter than their dad. In fact, both his children have taken a page from their father's book in some way - his daughter is a political consultant and his son a fourth generation oilman. And though each have their own, independent companies, Cantrell has also worked closely over the years on joint ventures and projects with both his father and brother.
In his free time, you will most likely find Cantrell on his Harley Davidson, whether he's traveling to the corners of the United States or just taking a quick ride.
Cantrell is also very active in industry organizations, and serves on the Board of Directors of: Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, The Council for a Secure America, Citizens Bank of Ada, and is the Vice Chairman of Oklahomans for Lawsuit Reform. Additionally, Cantrell is the Chairman of the National Stripper Well Association, and is a longtime member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. Cantrell adds that he has sincerely enjoyed working with the Alliance, saying, "I have never felt as effective in Washington D.C. as I did when accompanying Alliance leadership" to the U.S. Capitol earlier this year.