Timothy A. Roberts

President, Cardinal Midstream, Dallas

Timothy A. Roberts, president of Cardinal Midstream LLC, says he’s honored by the opportunity to jointly lead a legacy team.

“The team at Cardinal is second to none, and the fact that we have kept the team together for the better part of a decade is a tangible result of leadership,” he says, noting that “the output of strong leadership is a strong team.” 

Founded in 2008, Cardinal has been through two successful life-cycles with the support of EnCap Flatrock Midstream and is in the middle of a third with the support of both EnCap Flatrock Midstream and NGP Energy Capital Management LLC. 

Roberts currently navigates the course of Cardinal Midstream III, which recently developed the Iron Horse gathering and processing system. The system consists of more than 180 miles of natural gas pipeline and a 225 million cubic feet per day cryo plant, serving producers in Oklahoma’s Scoop, Stack and Merge plays. Under Roberts’ guidance, the project continues to expand its gathering footprint and develop new business lines to improve producer netbacks. 

“Having the opportunity to put together a large-scale, successful midstream platform from the ground up is a meaningful career milestone for me. It would not have been attainable without staying focused on all of the personal relationships that are critical to success. With the support of our partners, we are strategically positioned to continue to expand our asset base and meet the growing midstream needs of our basin.” 

Devil in the details: “Early in my career, I was working on a project in which we were closing on a small acquisition. We were down to the very end—all that was left to do was transfer the funds—and we discovered a small, but crucial, business item that materially impacted the deal. To this day, I use that deal to preach the importance of attention to detail.”

“There’s always a new deal to strike with people who think creatively and focus on building win-wins.”

On industry: “Our industry is in a difficult market cycle,” Roberts says, acknowledging that in a rollercoaster sector like oil and gas, “we face challenges every day.” 

Still, Roberts champions the industry’s people. “We have the privilege of working in an industry with the best people around, in my opinion,” he says. “The oil and gas business is full of dedicated, passionate, interesting folks. Even in tough times, there’s always a new deal to strike with people who think creatively and focus on building win-wins.” 

Passing the torch: Roberts’ efforts are aimed at building an entrepreneurial spirit at Cardinal by consistently promoting creativity, adaptability and nimbleness. This type of environment, he says, fosters “a lens through which we view hurdles and opportunities—big and small.” 

Long-term, by supporting the company’s foundation, he hopes to carry on the values of Cardinal’s original founders for generations. 

“The continuity of financial sponsors and building on the foundation of our original team is a rarity, and it has been instrumental to our success,” he says. “I stay focused on navigating the company though the near-term challenges while seeking opportunities to make us even stronger.” 

Mentor: Roberts credits Doug Dormer, Cardinal’s chairman and CEO, for being a great mentor and friend early in his career. “Doug lives by the words ‘we don’t lie, cheat or steal,’ and it’s inspiring to work with someone with such standards—personally and professionally.” 

Advice to young professionals: Roberts advises young professionals to “put [themselves] in a position where [they] can stay busy and keep learning. All experiences build knowledge and insight, and you never know which will lead you down a rewarding path.”