Lavon started working in the oil and gas sector when he was 18 years old and has consistently grown every year since. Everyone knows that the oil and gas market comes with peaks and valleys. For the past 40 years, Lavon has figured out a way to position himself to acquire quality assets in the downturns and profit in the high price environment. He has taken every chance to expand his knowledge of the industry and open the door to opportunity when an opportunity presented itself.
His first job was with Mr. AW Greer out of Jackson, MS. The Greer family was an oil and gas family primarily dealing with plays throughout Mississippi. Lavon worked for him as a landman focusing on acquiring acreage in Brookhaven, MS, at the time. There was a boom occurring in the sector, and many companies were focusing on expanding and exploring. Lavon’s go-getter mentality and drive caught the eye of multiple companies, but he decided to continue working with the Greer Family.
In 1979, Lavon and Pamela got married. Shortly after, a gentleman by the name of Danny Foster who worked for the Hunt Family out of Dallas, Texas mentioned to Lavon that the Hunts had a job opening. They had a field office in Jackson, Mississippi, and Danny told Lavon that they were looking for someone to buy leases in Michigan in the Saginaw Valley. At the time, the Hunts also had an office in Lancing, Michigan. Danny Foster and A.W. Greer were friends, and Lavon talked with Mr. Greer about the opportunity to work with the Hunts. The job offered double the pay, plus his wife would also be able to work for the company. This new job significantly increased their income, and Mr. Greer said he should apply for the job. Although he hated to see Lavon leave, Greer wrote a personal letter of recommendation to the Hunt Oil companies on Lavon’s behalf, and then he got the job.
Lavon Worked for the Hunt Family by reporting to the Jackson, MS office from 1979-1982. He started to get calls from the Hunts, and Lavon began reporting directly to the Dallas, Texas office from the years 1982-1984. In 1984, he started, South Star Petroleum Company while still working as an independent landman for the Hunts. He worked with the Hunt family until the crash of 1986.
South Star Petroleum was an independent oil and gas company focused on exploration in West Virginia. This was Lavon’s first-time raising capital from private partners to fund his own deals that he was leasing and developing. This is where Lavon got his start as a drilling contractor and was operating his own wells. From West Virginia, he started drilling wells in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. The wells drilled from 1984-1987 under South Star Petroleum focused primarily on shallower oil pools ranging from well depths of 220’ to 5,500’.
In 1987, Lavon was also putting together deals back in his home state of Mississippi and Alabama. This was when he made his first significant production income. He drilled an ownership interest in wells in the Mississippi Salt Basin, which led him to projects in Eucutta Field, Davis Field, Francis Creek Field, Sandy Hook Field, and Pistol Ridge Field.
All of the interest he acquired in these fields started with either none or minimal production, and Lavon took it from an idea to income.
Davis Field interest started with zero production, and Lavon got the field to produce 500 BBLS of Oil Per Day.
Francis Creek interest started with minimal production, and after work performed started to produce around 300 BBLS of Oil Per Day.
Pistol Ridge interest started with minimal production and got up to 3,000,000 MCF of gas a day and 50 BBLS of Condensate.
Sandy Hook Field interest is dry gas, and Lavon got the field to the point of producing 3,000,000 MCF of gas a day.
From here, he acquired a ¼ of the acreage in a wild cat discovery well located in County Line Field in Lamar County, AL. The field made four successful wells. They had to take their production to market, so Lavon built his first pipeline and successfully completed a 6-mile line to the purchaser. The field was producing gas at the volume of 2,000,000 MCF a day, of which he owned 25% interest.
1989 was when Lavon founded S. Lavon Evans Jr. Operating Company, Inc. This company is active today and is located in our corporate office in Laurel, Mississippi. This operating company was formed initially for a deal Lavon wanted to pursue. He acquired 55,000 acres in the Black Warrior basin on a farm out, and under the terms of that original agreement, Lavon was given the rights to the leases to put new deals together while paying an override to the lessor. He also formed S. Lavon Evans Junior Inc., the acting leasing agent used to purchase additional leases through the area.
He purchased his first of many drilling rigs when he started operating in the Black Warrior Basin. It was a Spencer Harris 6,000 trailer-mounted double derrick drilling rig. It could drill to the depth of 10,000 feet. From here, Lavon built and owned 12 drilling rigs and eight workover rigs, four swab rigs and a dozen 18 wheelers.
Lavon drilled an astonishing 400 wells in the Black Warrior Basin from 1987 to 2020. In one year, he drilled 38 wells as a drilling contractor while drilling his own projects!
Around 2005, Lavon grew his business to the point that he had 156 full-time employees and dozens of contractors working directly for him. He was drilling, developing, and operating all over the southeast United States.
The game plan turned on a dime in 2006 when hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf of Mexico. The storm caused tremendous damage through the region and disrupted exploration for a while due to a strain on local infrastructure and downed trees. He decided to move his big rigs and equipment to Texas because of the enormous demand for work and lack of exploration equipment. This was also when gas prices shot up to $10, and all the wells he previously drilled were making significant profits.
Evans Energy II was formed in 2009 by Pamela Evans, and Lavon Evans was the one supervising the drilling and development of the projects. They were both accustomed to working together since they started their career with the Hunts this way. Evans Energy II working alongside Lavon’s operating companies, have continued to drill and produce wells from Kansas, Texas, and Mississippi. Lavon has managed over 60 different projects since 2009.
He has continued to find lower-cost assets during the past downturns of 2014-2020 and steadily increased the production from these fields.
Through the last 40 years, Lavon has drilled over 600 wells, built 12 drilling rigs, 8 workover rigs, 4 swab rigs, a dozen 18 wheelers, had 10 offices; And he is just getting started.