The Early Years
H&L Operating Company was founded in 1972 by Jim Holcomb and Frank Ladd, as well as a third partner, Dudley Stanley. The company vision focused on drilling low-risk infill wells and replacement wells. Upon establishing a substantial reserve base, H&L began drilling exploratory wells which held higher risk but yielded greater returns. In 1981, H&L drilled the Sell No. 1 in Lipscomb County, which became the discovery well for the Booker North Upper Morrow Field. The Field extended from Lipscomb and Ochiltree Counties, Texas, and north into Beaver County, Oklahoma.
Holcomb, Ladd, and Stanley divested their Booker North Upper Morrow Field wells in September 1985. The oil price collapsed in January 1986, and H&L Operating Company returned its focus to maintaining a proven production base. In 1999, Ladd and Stanley sold their operating company to employees Ronnie Moon and Gib Brown. Ronnie previously served in the position of Engineering Manager, and Gib previously held the title of Geologist. The new owners worked together to build upon H&L’s legacy of securing stable reserves. Ronnie and Gib focused on drilling low-risk wells and reducing lease operating costs.
In April of 2008, Gib Brown established H&L Exploration Company whose exploration strategy required new partners, deep pockets, and state-of-the-art technology. The newly-formed company focused on drilling horizontal wells in the Cleveland Sands of the Texas Panhandle. During the next three years, Mr. Brown drilled and participated in 35 horizontal Cleveland wells which solidified a second successful source of base production.
In September 2011, Mr. Brown purchased the remaining interest in H&L Operating Company which established him as President and Owner of both companies, H&L Operating and H&L Exploration. Mr. Brown looks to the future with optimism and excitement, and with vision to explore,develop, and acquire.