The very DNA of Koby Oil Co., LLC, and its founder Larry Hays is rooted in the history of oil in Oklahoma. Born and raised among the oil fields of Seminole in the 1950s, Larry graduated from high school in Seminole before attending East Central University in Ada. Though he served as the assistant golf pro at the historic Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club from 1971 to 1974, the oil industry ran deep within his heritage and slowly but surely drew him home.
That heritage originated from both sides of his family tree. The Hays family first established themselves in Seminole in 1925 and began to build a thriving business in the construction of oilfield camps and houses that were daily growing across the Oklahoma landscape. When a local oil site superintendent came to his paternal grandfather’s, Noble W. Hays, brother J. L., he asked if they could move several old camp houses for him. They agreed and the event set the family on a new course in the oil industry in Oklahoma. They continued transporting houses and oil camps, rigs, tanks and equipment until 1970, when Larry’s father, Noble K. Hays, took over the business and continued the work until 1995.In 1926, Larry’s maternal grandfather, Newt Meeks, went to work for the Magnolia Oil Company in the booming Seminole oilfields and would retire nearly forty years later for Mobil Oil. When Larry was just a child, Newt often took his impressionable young grandson with him to check pumping units and gauging tanks at sites all across the state. Larry remembers, “Between those times in the field with both my father and my grandfather, I knew that this was the life for me, even at such a young age. I couldn’t get away from it if I wanted to.”
Larry returned to work for his father in Seminole in the mid-1970s before accepting a position with Sun Oil Company, where he worked as a roustabout, lease operator, engineering tech, and relief production foreman from 1976 to 1980. He then worked for Earth Energy in Stillwater as a production and drilling foreman until 1985, when he decided to buy one oil well in Seminole County and one truck and formed Koby Oil.
Today Larry remains the president of Koby Oil Co., which includes 200 oil and gas wells; Koby Oilfield Service, which includes trucks to move oilfield equipment, 7 well service rigs to service oil wells, water hauling trucks, pressure trucks, frac tanks; Koby Oil Tools which includes downhole tools, reverse circulators and power swivels. Also, Larry owns AEI Corp.-Okla., in Oklahoma City, which owns the rights to the Fairbanks-Morse ignition line.With eighty employees and a thriving business, he and his family make their home in Stillwater and have offices in Cushing and Seminole.
Koby Oil, whose namesake is Larry and his wife Carolyn’s youngest daughter Koby, was named among the top hundred oil and gas producers in Oklahoma in 2007.The Hays family are longtime supporters of the Oklahoma State University athletic program and the company is involved in a variety of community and charitable organizations. Larry is a member of the Stillwater Airport Board. His son Jason is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and is a commercial artist in Nebraska, and his daughter Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and serves as the vice president of Koby Oil and runs the company’s accounting department in Oklahoma.