Jalapeño Corporation
 (505) 242-2050
Independent Operator Since 1993
Harvey E. Yates Jr-President
Harvey E. Yates Jr. was born in Artesia, New Mexico into a family of oil and gas explorers. Thus, from age fourteen, during summer breaks, he worked in the oil fields both as a roustabout and as a tool dresser. The price of oil at that time was approximately $2.65 a barrel, not having risen appreciably since WWII, and there was a poorly developed market for natural gas. If you could sell it, the commodity would bring between 7 and 14 cents an mcf. on a twenty year contract.    
Yates graduated from high school in 1960 and later attended the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.  There he initially concentrated on petroleum geology. However, after taking numerous geology courses, he switched to a pre-law program.  Following graduation from the University of Texas he again worked both in the oil and gas industry and in ranching, but in 1970 he entered law school at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  He graduated from law school in 1973 and then practiced in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- but he soon returned to the oil and gas business.
Two changes had occurred which greatly affected the oil and gas industry and enhanced opportunities in the business.  Federal price controls on natural gas had been lifted and OPEC had been formed. By the mid 1980's the price of oil rose to $40 a barrel and natural gas was selling for more than $3 an mcf.  Then, the bust of the mid 1980's came. More than half of the then-existing oil companies went out of business. Yates considers that time to have been a character-building experience for anyone who survived in the business.
Since then the oil industry has seen more booms and busts. The price of natural gas rose to over $12 an mcf. and then fell to under $2 an mcf.  The price of oil rose to over $100 a barrel and then fell to under $33 a barrel. Yates is pleased to be President of an oil company which can operate profitably at the lower oil prices. Part of the reason for that capacity has to do with lessons learned during earlier oil industry busts.