President's Message

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President’s Message

Palo Petroleum, Inc. (“Palo”) was founded in 1976 with $1,000 and a handshake. A landowner in Rising Star, Texas, John Nunnally, agreed to give us a lease on his ranch that we couldn’t afford to buy if we would drill him a well. The legendary Blind Hog Field was discovered as a result. Since its meager beginnings, Palo has participated in over 500 wells and has discovered oil and gas reserves valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. As we like to say, "Sooner or later, even a blind hog will find an acorn" – if he works hard enough!

Palo is a family-owned, independent oil and gas operator. My grandfather and father were both in the oil and gas business in East Texas. My grandfather, J. Frank Graham, Sr., sold a dry goods store in Oklahoma for two truck loads of drill pipe and traded his way into the booming East Texas oil field. Prior to forming Palo Petroleum, Inc., I worked for Hunt Oil Company, ConocoPhillips and Cenard Oil & Gas. I never had a career decision to make because the oil business has been in our family’s blood since the 1930’s. My sons, Jace and Tyler Graham, share this passion and work side by side with me at Palo.

Our independent status has not kept us from competing with or partnering with the big boys. We are able to move quickly when opportunity knocks, have an open-door policy for landowners and investment partners alike, and you can reach me or anyone on our staff on the phone if you give us a call. Try getting the president on the phone when you call one of the BIG oil and gas companies.

Palo has managed large projects for companies such as Amoco, Arco, Texaco and Boeing. Our financial partners have ranged from old friends who have invested with us for over 25 years to huge financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Franklin Financial. We are small compared to others, but we are good at what we do – making money for our landowners and partners. There are not very many family-owned, independents left in the oil patch, and Palo is a classic example of how the little guy can successfully compete with the big oil companies by being quick and efficient in its operations and always remembering that your handshake is your bond with whomever you are dealing.

 James P. Graham, President/CEO/Founder