Our History

Santo is a continuation of the Yates family legacy of development of oil and gas in the Permian Basin.

Growing from deep roots

In 1924, Martin Yates, Jr. and his partners completed the Illinois #3 in Eddy County, which was the first commercial oil well on state lands in New Mexico. Since then, the Yates family has been intertwined with the economy and cultural life of southeastern New Mexico and their home town of Artesia.

Martin and Mary Yates had four sons who all made their respective marks on the energy industry while advancing the family business. This tradition continued with their descendants, many of whom were and still are hands-on in various oil and gas ventures.

In 2010, Peyton Yates and Hanson Yates founded Santo upon the successful sale of Yates Drilling Company, a company founded by Peyton’s father S.P. Yates (pictured above). In 2016, the Yates family, including Peyton and Hanson, then sold Yates Petroleum Corporation and various related entities, marking the end of an era in New Mexico oil and gas development.

With Santo, Peyton and Hanson are committed to continuing the Yates family’s tradition of exploration and production in New Mexico while staying true to the family’s history and values.