Long time family owned independent oil company based in Shreveport declares bankruptcy.


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This company has been in operation for decades.  Too bad.

The Sklars and Phillips have been among a handful of family owned independent O&G companies that have remained in business from the early 1900s through the evolution from conventional to unconventional E&P.  Although they are not the last, they are very close to it.  The end of an era is upon us.

Yeah, too bad.  They moved the HQ to Boulder a few years ago.

The company still has a Shreveport office and staff.

A good family and company with a long history of giving back to the Shreveport community over many decades.  One of my favorite stories told to me by my father was about the Sklar family.  My father was part of an annual fund-raising committee for Centenary College for several years back in the late 60's.  One year, he visited Sam Sklar, the patriarch of the family, at his office in Shreveport, and asked for his annual pledge.  Sam offered a generous amount of money (much higher than most other contributors).  My father replied with many thanks, while also informing him that Sam's son, Albert, had "upped" his pledge from prior years to a level that was close to 2X the amount of Sam's pledge, and that Albert was challenging his father to match the contribution.  Sam replied to my father....."George, there is one big difference between me and Albert....... Albert has a rich daddy, and I don't!"   I love that story - and, how ironic given the bankruptcy.  It is a reminder to all of us that, especially in this business, nothing should be taken for granted. 

This was one of the best-run "small independent" companies for many years - yet, the reality of the enormous amount of volatility and unknowns, coupled with the capital intense nature, of this business makes it difficult to grow and still stay nimble.  Weathering every storm is easier said than done since this has become a business that thrives on innovation and certain economies of scale, which sometimes comes at a huge cost (and risk).  As they say, "this business ain't for the faint-hearted".  And, without knowing any of the facts that led up to this bankruptcy, I tip my hat to the long-deceased Sam Sklar and wish his family well in pulling through this crisis. 

Rankin, an era is coming to an end.  If Eric Brock were alive, I'd be pitching him to write a book on the oil industry in Shreveport/NW LA.  It is fascinating story much of which I am sure you know.  If we can't collectively write a book maybe we should start a GHS group page and share stories of the heady days of independent oil, the larger than life personalities, the fields, the booms and busts.  There are still a number of third and fourth generation family members around managing the oil and gas revenue that continues to come in from their grandfathers.  They simply no longer drill wells.  More than a few had legacy operations that gave them one last boom from the Haynesville Shale.

Agreed, Skip.  A few of the older guys that are still alive are drilling some wells, but they are few and far between.  Shale gas not only took over the exploration and production side of this business, but also strong-armed pipeline capacity for the past decade in many areas.  The small guys are tagging along for the ride now, and those that have been extra-frugal and careful not to spend their own dollars drilling these expensive shale wells have done just fine...they are simply way under the radar screen to be noticed.  At least, that's what I've witnessed here in OK.....with a few known exceptions, LOL!!

I would have loved to spend an afternoon with your father to find out what he knew about Natchtoches Island and hear other stories.  Indigo is now drilling around the Island and have coined a new name, NFZ.  The Natchitoches Fault Zone.  They are making some good wells.

My father always told me that Sam Sklar got into the oil bid'ness because he had a huge amt. of junk when the ET Field was discovered & then went wild.  There was a severe steel shortage & who had it?  Back then, a steel derrick would be erected & the sell spudded/completed & the derrick remained in place for years, so that a truck could come, run cables through the crown-block & pull rods, tubing etc...  It was a niche he made good on & soon the portable drilling rigs were made and put to use!  

Has anybody heard that?

Mr. Sklar first pulled most of his casing and tubing from Oil City and truck and wagon it back to Shreveport.  Costs for services were sometimes taken in trade as to positions in wells and leases.  Eventually there were enough "pieces" of deals and leases so as to explore forming an oil company.  Fortunately there were enough prospects in the Arklatex that the business was able to take off.

Yes, Sam was in the scrap iron business.  Like many Sheveporters with some money to invest he got into the business early in the 20th Century but it was prior to the Black Giant play in Kilgore and surrounding area.  Not everyone became an oil man.  Some gained much wealth speculating in leases.  Bankers, lawyers, doctors, insurance agents - anyone with a little or a lot of money to invest found opportunities - some worked out, some didn't.  The Caddo Pine Island and Rodessa fields got Shreveporters thinking about and chasing oil.  Sklar has wells still listed on the Louisiana O&G database that were drilled in the 1920's.  The first wells in north Caddo Parish were drilled a good bit earlier in the very early 1900s.

Those were the days - -


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