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
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.