Russell Oil Corporate Overview

About Us

Russell Oil, Inc. was incorporated January 1987 in Russell, Kansas as an operating company whose purpose was to assume operations of a group of oil and gas properties acquired by the company founders from Pioneer Operations Co, Inc.

From inception the focus of operations for Russell Oil, Inc. has been in the relatively shallow and profitable Mid-Continent region of the United States. Licensed to operate in Kansas and Oklahoma, the drilling and exploration activities have been focused in western Kansas. Through close association with highly reputable partners, Russell Oil, Inc. investors have joint ventured in significant Oklahoma oil and gas developments.

Russell Oil, Inc. is proud to be one of the small, independent producers that are the backbone of both the Mid-Continent and U.S. domestic energy industry. Our small size and streamlined organizational structure have allowed us to capitalize on unique opportunities to expand and develop our Kansas investments.

Corporate offices are headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a field office and equipment yards operated in Russell, Kansas. 

Exploration and Development

Many small, independent oil companies tend to focus on conservative development drilling and acquisitions. Russell Oil, Inc. has maintained a bias towards more aggressive exploration and development opportunities. A significant number of the wells drilled by the company would be classified as “wildcat” wells. Our philosophy being that wildcat wells will offer the higher potential returns, greater opportunities to find significant new reserves, and greater growth potential in exchange for the willingness to assume greater risk.

Russell Oil, Inc. utilizes a network of longstanding relationships with highly accomplished geological and geophysical professionals, in our exploration efforts. One of the primary tools utilized in our exploration prospect development is 3-D seismic evaluation. Through a combination of 3-D technology, computer and manual geological subsurface mapping, and other techniques we have been able to maintain a high success ratio for exploration prospects.

Russell Oil, Inc. currently operates 68 leases consisting of 122 wells located in 14 counties in central and northwest Kansas. 

Corporate Bios

Ivan LeRoy Holt II

Ivan LeRoy Holt II – President

LeRoy has been with the company since its inception in January, 1987. He entered the oil patch as a roustabout, starting out in high school working part-time weekends and summers.

A third generation oil producer, LeRoy graduated from Fort Hays State University with a B.S. degree in political science in 1981. After graduation, he joined his grandfather and father in their well servicing and oil production business, Ivan Holt Well Servicing, Inc. From 1981 through 1986 he worked in various capacities of the family business.

In July 1986, in the midst of the 1985-1986 oil crash, he left his family’s business, and assumed active management of Pioneer Operations Co., Inc. a company which had been struggling under previous ownership. The leases of Pioneer Operations Co., Inc. provided the foundation for the development of Russell Oil, Inc.

In 1987, in partnership with Jill A. Holt and Jane Holland, he started Russell Oil, Inc., which assumed operation of the Pioneer Operations Co., Inc. oil and gas leases. As President, LeRoy is responsible for business development and management. He has successfully directed the acquisition, drilling and exploration activities which have led to the success of the Russell Oil, Inc.

Jill A. Holt

Jill A. Holt – Secretary, Treasurer

Jill has been with the company as secretary-treasurer and co-owner since its inception in January, 1987.  She is the fourth generation of her family to be active in the oil and gas industry.  A 1982 graduate of Kansas State University, with a B.A. degree in history, she received additional honors including being named a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa.

Jill divides her time between her duties related to Russell Oil, Inc., and the management of her personal petroleum, real estate and land holdings.

Her leisure activities include extensive travel, property rehabilitation, gardening and reading.

Patti L. Holt

Patti L. Holt – Administrative Consultant

Patti joined Russell Oil, Inc in November 2002 upon its relocation to Plainfield, Illinois. Before joining she had worked as Manager of Internal Operations for Advanced Card Technologies and as Regional Business Manager for Sunrise Assisted Living. She has a degree in Business Management from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

She provides organization and maintenance of production data, as well as regulatory compliance requirements and onsite bookkeeping. She works closely with the CPA firm that handles the company’s financial matters and oversees the contract staff employed by the company.

Patti is happily married and is the proud mother of her son Aaron. She is also an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan and enjoys camping, reading and loves spending time with her family and friends.

Todd A. Brown

Todd A. Brown – Superintendent (Kansas Office)

Todd joined Russell Oil in July, 2008. He was born and raised in Russell, KS and graduated from Russell High School in 1987. His free time during his childhood was spent in the oilfield tagging alongside his father Bill Brown. He spent his high school years working part-time for SOS Jet Well Servicing as a shop hand and roustabout. After high school he continued his roustabout work for Jim Dreiling Lease Service and in 1993 he went into business for himself doing oilfield construction and EPA clean-up. Prior to working for Russell Oil, he also worked as Camp Manager and Director of Acid Services for Allied Cementing.

In his free time he enjoys NASCAR races, hunting and fishing. He resides in Russell with his wife Stephanie and their three children, Alexandra, Hunter and Ashtyn.

Aaron Janiec

Kitt Noah – Petroleum Geologist

Kitt joined Russell Oil, Inc. in February 2012. In 1987 Kitt graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Petroleum Geology. Kitt has grown up around the oil business, starting as a young girl tagging along after her father Calvin Noah, a Kansas oil operator and Petroleum Geology professor at Wichita State University. Her first job in the oil business was at the age of 10 when her father taught her to file completion cards in his office. Following her dream Kitt attended the University of Oklahoma, becoming a Meteorologist. On weekend break from storm chasing job with Wichita’s KFDI radio, she headed to northwest Kansas to hang out with her father on a well he was drilling in Trego County, Kansas. This well came in as a pool opener with multiple drill stem tests recovering large amounts of gassy free oil. At that point Kitt was hooked; she returned to Wichita earned her second degree, this time in Petroleum Geology. Kitt has been blessed with a lengthy career working on staff for some of the best oil companies in the state of Kansas including Slawson Oil Company, McCoy Petroleum, Ritchie Exploration, A.L. Abercrombie, and Mai Oil Operations. She now enjoying working with all of the outstanding folks at Russell Oil, Inc. Even after all of these years, smelling that oil in the sample cup in the middle of the night and pulling a big drill stem test is still the most thrilling part of her job.

Kitt resides in Valley Center, Kansas with her husband, Doug Cunningham and their son, Britt. She loves to travel, enjoys cooking and gardening and belongs to the Wichita Hosta Society. She is a huge Wichita State Shocker basketball fan and also loves the Kansas City Royals, making trips each summer to the “K” to cheer them on in person.