Jolen Operating Company and The Fleischaker Companies were established by Richard Fleischaker and his son David in 1981. But the companies' earliest history dates to the beginning of the 20th century when their relatives Morris Singer and his brother Sam Singer entered the business of purchasing used equipment, refinishing it, and selling it to oil and gas operators.
Over time, the brothers assembled a portfolio of producing oil and gas properties, primarily in Oklahoma, bought from larger companies. By the end of WWII, they were poised to grow and they were joined in the business by their sons and their son-in-law, Richard Fleischaker.
Following decades of growth through a successful Singer-Fleischaker family partnership, Richard and David established Jolen as a separate venture to manage and develop oil and gas properties acquired either through the purchase of producing properties or through exploration.
The 1980s were characterized by production purchases in Southern Louisiana from the major oil companies, Amoco, Arco and Texaco and in Southern Oklahoma from Chevron. In addition, the company discovered and developed an oil field in Beaver County, Oklahoma.
In the 1990s Jolen turned to coalbed methane projects, first in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and second in the Black Warrior Basin, Alabama. Both projects were financial successes. We took this experience and in the early 2000s returned to Oklahoma to develop a CBM project in the Hartshorn coals, McIntosh County, Oklahoma. Drilling over 30 horizontal wells across its acreage position, Jolen was able to sell the project to a public company, earning a good return on investment.
Essential to Jolen's portfolio of oil and gas assets was its purchase in 1998 of oil and gas minerals owned by a subsidiary of Aetna Insurance. When combined with mineral previously purchased, the Jolen owned and administered approximately 200,000 net mineral acres. This asset provides both continuous and significant cashflow and information on activity across oil and gas regions.
Looking to the future, we are mindful that commodity prices are significantly lower than in the last 10-12 years and that the current outlook for price movement is uncertain. Given the abundance of domestic shale gas resources, we feel that shale gas prices will remain under downward pressure. Consequently we are currently developing shallow oil projects which allow us to maintain lower drilling costs in the commodity we believe has the higher upside potential.