The Top 100 Private E&Ps (2022)

Table of Contents
1.) Hilcorp Energy Co. 2.) Ascent Resources LLC 3.) Terra Energy Partners LLC 4.) Indigo Natural Resources LLC 5.) Chief Oil & Gas LLC 6.) Flywheel Energy LLC 7.) Mewbourne Oil Co. 8.) Lewis Energy Group 9.) Vine Oil & Gas LP 10.) Covey Park Energy 11.) Aethon Energy Management LLC 12.) LLOG Exploration Co. LLC 13.) Fieldwood Energy LLC 14.) Merit Energy Co. 15.) Endeavour Energy Resources LP 16.) Jonah Energy LLC 17.) GEP Haynesville LLC 18.) PennEnergy Resources LLC 19.) FourPoint Energy LLC 20.) Caerus Oil & Gas LLC 21.) EnerVest Ltd. 22.) HG Energy 23.) Surge Energy US Holdings Co. 24.) Oak Ridge Natural Resources LLC 25.) Crestone Peak Resources 26.) Trinity Operating LLC 27.) Bruin E&P Partners LLC 28.) Slawson Exploration Co. Inc. 29.) CrownQuest Operating LLC 30.) Alta Resources LLC 31.) RockCliff Energy LLC 32.) Arena Energy 33.) Petro-Hunt LLC 34.) Cox Oil LLC 35.) Hunt Oil Co. 36.) Fleur de Lis Energy LLC 37.) Kraken Oil & Gas LLC 38.) Great Western Oil & Gas Co. 39.) Sabine Oil & Gas LLC 40.) Sable Permian Resources LLC 41.) Castleton Resources LLC 42.) Lime Rock Resources 43.) Walter Oil & Gas Corp. 44.) Tanos Exploration LLC 45.) Encino Energy Partners LLC 46.) Tapstone Energy LLC 47.) Southland Royalty Co. 48.) Bluestone Natural Resources LLC 49.) Carbon Creek Energy 50.) Sheridan Production Partners 51.) Sequitur Energy Resources 52.) BKV Operating LLC 53.) Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd. 54.) Beacon Offshore Energy LLC 55.) BTA Oil Producers 56.) Maverick Natural Resources LLC 57.) Capitan Energy Inc. 58.) Bedrock Energy Partners LLC 59.) EnVen Energy Corp. 60.) Enduring Resources LLC 61.) Ursa Operating Co. LLC 62.) JKLM Energy LLC 63.) Admiral Permian Resources LLC 64.) Tecolote Energy LLC 65.) EagleRidge Energy 66.) Jay-Bee Oil & Gas Inc. 67.) Discovery Natural Resources LLC 68.) BCE-Mach 69.) Arsenal Resources 70.) Escondido Resources 71.) Northeast Natural Energy LLC 72.) GBK Corp. 73.) Pennsylvania General Energy 74.) Red Willow Production 75.) Cantium LLC 76.) Felix Energy Holdings II LLC 77.) Rimrock Oil & Gas 78.) Sentinel Peak Resources LLC 79.) Greylock Energy 80.) Snyder Brothers Inc. 81.) Patriot Resources Inc. 82.) Casillas Petroleum Corp. 83.) Hawkwood Energy LLC 84.) Texas Petroleum Investment Co. 85.) Primexx Energy Partners Ltd. 86.) Scout Energy Partners 87.) Logos Resources II LLC 88.) Nadel and Gussman LLC 89.) Sage Natural Resources LLC 90.) Gulftex Energy 91.) Lario Oil & Gas Co. 92.) Bravo Natural Resources LLC 93.) MDC Texas Energy LLC 94.) Nine Point Energy LLC 95.) Zavanna LLC 96.) Verdun Oil LLC 97.) Geosouthern Energy Corp. 98.) Valence Operating Co. 99.) Paloma Resources LLC 100.) Camino Natural Resources LLC Videos

[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the July 2019 edition ofOil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazinehere.]

The spotlight often shines on the public E&Ps and major oil companies, while the private independent producers toil in the shadows. But no more. Oil and Gas Investor partnered with Drillinginfo Inc. to generate a ranking of private independents to show which ones—on a gross throughput at least—rise to the top in volumes produced. And not all of them, not most even, are old behemoths. Many of the names on our list are less than a decade old, illustrating how an entrepreneurial team with a plan, good assets and financial backing can rise to the top in short order.

The order of rank is based on publicly reported data of daily gross barrels of oil equivalent (boe) production, averaged over the trailing 12 months. Gas is converted 6 thousand cubic feet Mcf to 1 boe.

So which are the top 100 private U.S. E&Ps based on production? Read on to find out.

1.) Hilcorp Energy Co.The Top 100 Private E&Ps (1)

Daily boe: 506,651
HQ: Houston
CEO: Greg Lalicker

America’s largest private producer lives by the mantra “Act today, not tomorrow,” an urgency that has propelled Hilcorp to the top of the mountain. Jeffrey Hildebrand established the company in 1989 with a vision to be the preeminent energy independent in the U.S. Today, the company features major developments in Alaska’s North Slope and Cook Inlet, Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, Appalachia, the San Juan Basin, South Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast, and in Wyoming. Hilcorp made a splash in the A&D market two years ago when it bought ConocoPhillips Co.’ San Juan Basin portfolio for $2.8 billion in conjunction with The Carlyle Group, then followed that with a $1.1 billion pipeline and processing purchase last fall from Williams Partners in the basin. Hilcorp also gained notoriety last year when it became the first company to receive a permit to drill in federal Arctic waters. After 30 years, Hildebrand stepped out of the CEO role in 2018.

2.) Ascent Resources LLC

Daily boe: 283,788
HQ: Oklahoma City
CEO: Jeffrey A. Fisher

In six short years, Ascent Resources has rocketed to the top of the mountain of natural gas producers. With many on its team having pioneered the Utica Shale, Ascent has grown largely through the drillbit to produce nearly 2 Bcfe/d net today from more than 320,000 net acres in southeastern Ohio, including royalty interests in more than 70,000 fee mineral acres. It features some 7.5 Tcfe of total proved reserves. Much of Ascent’s position was acquired in 2018 when the pure-play Utica operator completed $1.5 billion in acquisitions funded primarily through new equity issuances of $1.1 billion from existing sponsors and new ones like Riverstone Holdings. Ascent was formed in 2013 as American Energy Partners–Appalachia with backing from The Energy & Minerals Group and First Reserve before rebranding in 2015.

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3.) Terra Energy Partners LLC

Daily boe: 226,914
HQ: Houston
CEO: Michael Land

Terra emerged on the scene in 2016, a financial partnership between Kayne Anderson’s Private Energy Income Fund and Warburg Pincus. The two private-equity providers joined to fund a $900 million-plus acquisition of WPX Energy’s Piceance Basin exit in Colorado. Terra is now the largest operator in the Piceance, holding some 200,000 net acres in the Williams Fork and 160,000 in the Mancos/Niobrara formations. At the time of acquisition, it estimated the assets contained about 2 Tcfe of proved developed producing reserves. In 2018, it brought online 158 wells, according to Drillinginfo data.

4.) Indigo Natural Resources LLCThe Top 100 Private E&Ps (2)

Daily boe: 218,668
HQ: Houston
CEO: Frank D. Tsuru

Indigo is the largest natural gas producer in North Louisiana with net production exceeding 1 Bcf/d. The company’s assets are concentrated in DeSoto and Sabine parishes where it is developing the Haynesville Shale, the Bossier Shale and the Holly Vaughn Formation. It advertises a footprint of 435,000 “net effective acres” across multiple horizons. Indigo proved reserves were 4.7 Tcfe at year-end 2018, and the company is running a seven-rig program going to eight in 2019 and two completions crews. The management team also controls a midstream counterpart, and is developing an in-basin sand mine due to be in service in second-half 2019. Indigo is backed by Yorktown Partners, GSO Capital and Trilantic Capital Partners.

5.) Chief Oil & Gas LLC

Daily boe: 205,338
HQ: Dallas
CEO: Trevor Rees-Jones

At 1.2 Bcf/d, Chief touts that it produces about 1% of the nation’s natural gas needs. This 25-year-old company, still led by its founder Rees-Jones, was a leader in the Barnett Shale before exiting to Devon Energy and Quicksilver Resources, then in the Marcellus Shale. Chief subsequently sold its southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia assets, and currently operates a one-rig program in northeastern Pennsylvania in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.

6.) Flywheel Energy LLC

Daily boe: 179,257
HQ: Oklahoma City
CEO: Justin W. Cope

Led by former Continental Resources exec Justin Cope, upstart Flywheel Energy made a splash in the A&D market when it stretched to grab Southwestern Energy Co.’s legacy Arkansas Fayetteville Shale position in 2018 for nearly $2 billion. That deal alone thrust it to the forefront of natural gas producers in the U.S., now producing in excess of 1 Bcf/d. Flywheel launched in 2017 under the name Valorem Energy with funding from the Kayne Private Energy Income Fund, which is designed for longer-term investment windows. At that time then-Valorem bought 20,000 acres in the Williston Basin, which for about $310 million, thus making it a Fayetteville pure play.

7.) Mewbourne Oil Co.

Daily boe: 169,495
HQ: Tyler, Texas
CEO: Curtis W. Mewbourne

Following the exits of the Bass and Yates families from the industry in recent years, Curtis Mewbourne’s self-run business remains one of the few family-owned E&Ps in the space. Established in 1965, Mewbourne Oil today is focused on the Delaware and Anadarko basins with some 400 people in its employ. Of the top 10 private E&Ps, it is the only one with a heavier weighting of oil to gas. Mewbourne told Investor in a recent interview that the company operates everything it produces and has always lived within cash flow. It has not been funded by any private equity funds or outside investors, having grown organically through the years.

8.) Lewis Energy Group

Daily boe: 165,616
HQ: San Antonio
CEO: Rod Lewis

Lewis Energy has plied South Texas since its inception in 1983 and where it remains today with 450,000 acres and about 1,000 employees. The vertically structured company runs its own rigs and completions crews on operations targeting the Wilcox, Escondido, Olmos, Eagle Ford and Edwards formations. In 2010, Lewis partnered with BP Plc to operate a joint-venture endeavor in the gas window of the Eagle Ford Shale, which continues today. Lewis also holds concessions in Colombia and service contracts with Pemex in Mexico.

9.) Vine Oil & Gas LP

Daily boe: 161,307
HQ: Plano, Texas
CEO: Eric Marsh

Vine formed in 2014 with financial backing from The Blackstone Group and acquired Shell Oil’s Louisiana Haynesville Shale position in a $1.2 billion deal. The Vine team is led by Eric Marsh, a former Encana Corp. executive and joint-venture partner with Shell in the Haynesville. The company touts 184,000 “net effective acres” across Sabine, DeSoto and Red River parishes targeting not only the Haynesville, but also the mid-Bossier Formation. 2018 proved reserves are 1.9 Tcf.

10.) Covey Park Energy

Daily boe: 155,008
HQ: Dallas
CEO: John Jacobi, Alan Levande

Another large, private player reaping rewards in the Haynesville Shale and Cotton Valley trends, Covey Park formed in 2013 and has amassed a formidable position in both East Texas and North Louisiana with 245,000 net acres at 90% working interest. In March, Covey Park hit a production milestone of 1 Bcf/d gross production. Its average first-quarter 2019 net production was 693 MMcfe/d. Notably, the company reached an EHS milestone as well of 1 million man hours worked without an OSHA recordable incident, it reports. This year, it is testing multiple landing zones and stack/stagger Haynesville patterns along with tighter cluster spacing. Covey Park is backed by Denham Capital.[Editor's note: Covey Park agreed to be acquired by Comstock Resources Inc. on June 10, 2019.]

11.) Aethon Energy Management LLC

Daily boe: 154,959
HQ: Dallas
CEO: Albert Huddleston

While the private investment firm actively operates drilling campaigns from North Dakota to Texas, its biggest push over recent years is building a formidable position in the Haynesville Shale. In January, it added a $735 million bolt-on of QEP Resources Inc.’s Haynesville exit. Aethon has partnered with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Redbird Capital on recent deals including a 2016, 84,000 net-acre purchase from J-W Operating. Aethon was founded in 1990.

12.) LLOG Exploration Co. LLCThe Top 100 Private E&Ps (3)

Daily boe: 133,470
HQ: Covington, La.
CEO: Philip LeJeune

The 42-year-old Gulf of Mexico operator gained new leadership last year, elevating LeJeune, himself a 21-year LLOG veteran, to the helm. LLOG’s activities today are 98% deepwater projects, including its 2018 exploratory discovery named “Nearly Headless Nick” in Mississippi Canyon 387. The company brought online five new fields in 2018, adding a total of eight new producing wells. It anticipates four additional wells online this year. In April, LLOG joined with Repsol to drill a well in its Leon Prospect, and Repsol will backstop LLOG’s Moccasin discovery, both in Keathley Canyon.

13.) Fieldwood Energy LLC

Daily boe: 126,487
HQ: Houston
CEO: Matt McCarroll

Built on the shallow-water footprints of Gulf of Mexico exits by Apache Corp. and SandRidge Energy, Fieldwood is now one of the largest producers in the basin. The company turned heads last year when it slingshotted out of bankruptcy with a simultaneous acquisition of Noble Energy’s deepwater assets for $480 million. Current assets include interests in about 500 offshore blocks covering some 2 million gross acres, including over 1,000 wells and more than 500 operated platforms. Fieldwood is also the operator of the Ichalkil and Pokoch fields in Mexico’s shallow water Bay of Campeche. Fieldwood is backed by Riverstone Holdings.

14.) Merit Energy Co.

Daily boe: 120,894
HQ: Dallas
CEO: Terry Gottberg

Merit is a 30-year-old company investing in long-lived assets. It holds properties in six states stretching from Wyoming to Texas, and has invested more than $2 billion in limited partner funds in the past three years. It employs more than 700 people. Last year, Merit was the unsung buyer of BHP Billiton’s Fayetteville Shale carve-out for $300 million, an asset that BP Plc didn’t want in its ballyhooed $10 billion deal.

15.) Endeavour Energy Resources LP

Daily boe: 145,699
HQ: Midland, Texas
CEO: Charles Meloy

Founded by Midland icon Autry Stephens in 1979, Endeavour is the second-largest acreage holder in the Midland Basin with 373,000 net acres and 1,300 employees. In 2014, Stephens handed the reins to Meloy, and the company has since pivoted to a horizontal drilling program. Net production for 2018 totaled 22.7 MMboe, per the company, a 50% increase year-over-year.

16.) Jonah Energy LLC

Daily boe: 113,174
HQ: Denver
CEO: Thomas M. Hart III

Jonah Energy came to be in 2014 with a $1.8 billion acquisition from Encana Corp. in Wyoming’s Jonah Field, and bolstered that in 2017 with a $580 million grab from Linn Energy in the same region. It features some 145,000 net acres in both Jonah and Pinedale fields, including 106,000 net acres in the Normally Pressured Lance Formation, which recently received approval for drilling by the BLM to drill up to 3,500 wells. Jonah receives backing from TPG Capital LLC and EIG Global Energy Partners.

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17.) GEP Haynesville LLC

Daily boe: 107,730
HQ: The Woodlands, Texas
CEO: Margaret Molleston

A joint venture between George Bishop’s GeoSouthern Energy and GSO Capital Partners, GEP Haynesville launched in 2015 with the purchase of Encana’s Haynesville Shale assets in DeSoto and Red River parishes in Louisiana. The deal included 112,000 net acres and 300 operated wells.

The Top 100 Private E&Ps (4)18.) PennEnergy Resources LLC

Daily boe: 103,874
HQ: Pittsburgh
CEO: Richard D. Weber

Former Atlas Energy execs Rich Weber and Greg Muse formed PennEnergy in 2011 following Atlas’ sale to Chevron Corp. The Marcellus/Utica-focused operator is backed by EnCap Investments LP with assets in Beaver, Butler and Armstrong counties in southwestern Pennsylvania covering more than 200,000 gross acres. Last year it acquired the assets of Rex Energy Corp. for $600 million.

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19.) FourPoint Energy LLC

Daily boe: 101,435
HQ: Denver
CEO: George Solich

FourPoint is a powerhouse private with more than 800,000 net acres in the western Anadarko Basin, dominating the region. The company, led by the former management team of Cordillera Energy with three successful exits from the basin, built its current position through eight acquisitions since forming in 2014. FourPoint recently planted its flag in the Midland Basin through Double Point Energy, a joint venture with Double Eagle Energy with over 70,000 acres in Texas’ Midland, Glasscock, Martin, Howard, Upton and Reagan counties.

The Top 100 Private E&Ps (5)The Top 100 Private E&Ps (6)The Top 100 Private E&Ps (7)

20.) Caerus Oil & Gas LLC

Daily boe: 96,097
HQ: Denver
CEO: David Keyte

Caerus owns more than 530,000 net acres in the Piceance Basin—including a $735 million pick-up from Encana Corp. in 2017—making it one of the largest leasehold owners in Colorado. Its assets comprise more than 4,000 producing wells and 7,000 future locations. Caerus, named after the Greek god of opportunity, receives backing from Oaktree Capital, Anschutz Investment and Old Ironside.

21.) EnerVest Ltd.

Daily boe: 84,831
HQ: Houston
CEO: John B. Walker

EnerVest controls more than 33,000 wells, both vertical and horizontal, in 13 states, with 6.5 million acres under lease. Diversified assets under management are valued at more than $5.5 billion in proved and probable reserves and includes operations in Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. Despite that wide array, the company prides itself on being particular in its acquisitions. “We’d rather lose a bid than buy foolishly. We can afford to be selective.” EnerVest acquires onshore properties with proven reserves, builds from there, and sells prudently within the life of a fund. It seeks dominant positions in key basins, and mitigates market volatility through hedging.

22.) HG Energy

Daily boe: 82,130
HQ: Parkersburg, W.Va.
President: Jared Hall

HG Energy was established in 2011. HG’s West Virginia assets were purchased from East Resources at the inception of the company, which previously were acquired from Pennzoil Exploration and Production. All of HG management are former East Resources personnel, and the company maintains numerous field operations and offices in northern, central and southern West Virginia. HG Energy has acquired about 30,000 acres in Monroe County, Ohio.

23.) Surge Energy US Holdings Co.

Daily boe: 81,174
HQ: Houston
CEO: Linhua Guan

In April, Surge Energy subsidiary Moss Creek Holdings drilled what it deemed “the longest known lateral” in the Permian Basin. The Medusa Unit C 28-09 3AH extended 3.4 miles into the Wolfcamp A in the Midland Basin. Surge operates in two oil fields in Texas, both in the northern Midland Basin, with 85,000 net acres. Hoople, a waterflood in Crosby County, was acquired in April 2015. It has 280 net producers and 91 net injection wells. Moss Creek, in Borden and Howard counties, was acquired in November 2015 and has grown to more than 300 producing wells with an active horizontal development program targeting Wolfcamp A, B and Lower Spraberry.

24.) Oak Ridge Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 77,102
HQ: Tulsa
CEO: J. Chris Jacobsen

Oak Ridge Natural Resources is backed by the Kayne Private Energy Income Fund and has a specific focus on the Ark-La-Tex and Midcontinent. In July 2017, Pinedale Energy Partners, an affiliate of Oak Ridge, struck a deal to buy all assets in Pinedale Field in Sublette County, Wyo., held by QEP Energy Inc. for $740 million. The acquired assets generated 234 MMcfe/d of net production from more than 1,100 producing wells during the first quarter of 2017 and include an extensive inventory of low-risk vertical drilling locations. The assets also include significant acreage prospective in the emerging horizontal Lance and deep Hilliard plays.

25.) Crestone Peak Resources

Daily boe: 76,922
HQ: Denver
CEO: Tony Buchanon

Built on an acquisition of Encana Corp.’s Denver-Julesburg Basin portfolio, Crestone Peak Resources focuses on the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and gas reserves in the Rocky Mountain region. Formed in 2016 with backing from The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and The Broe Group, Crestone’s acreage is in Greater Wattenberg Field of Colorado’s D-J Basin.

26.) Trinity Operating LLC

Daily boe: 76,573
HQ: Houston
President: Lawrence Wall Jr.

Trinity has a history of successful drilling in the Woodford and Mississippi Lime basins. The company and its affiliates are active in acquisition, exploration, development and production from multiple basins. Current operations are focused in the Eagle Ford, where it is planning nine projects, and the Arkoma Basin, where it drilled a five-well pad in Hughes County, Okla., last year.

27.) Bruin E&P Partners LLC

Daily boe: 75,596
HQ: Houston
CEO: Matt B. Steele

In 2017, Bruin acquired 104,000 net acres in the heart of the Bakken from Halcón Resources Corp. for $1.4 billion in cash. The deal was backed by Arclight Capital Partners. Bruin’s portfolio today features 160,000 net acres, all Bakken and Three Forks. The core of the position, 30,000 net acres, is in Mackenzie, Mountrail and Dunn counties on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Bruin also holds 70,000 net acres northwest in Williams County and 60,000 net acres south in southern Dunn in an area called Russian Creek. The company operates 400 gross wells and had two rigs running late in 2018.

28.) Slawson Exploration Co. Inc.

Daily boe: 74,786
HQ: Wichita, Kan.
President: Todd Slawson

From its inception in 1957 as an oil and gas exploration company, Slawson Cos. has diversified into commercial and residential real estate development, restaurants and hotels. Slawson has drilled more than 4,000 oil and gas wells in 10 states. It was a pioneer in the Bakken where it has drilled more than 300 horizontal wells. The current development is the Torpedo Project in Mountrail County, N.D., that contemplates 11 wells from the same pad.

29.) CrownQuest Operating LLC

Daily boe: 71,108
HQ: Midland, Texas
CEO: Timothy Dunn

CrownQuest entered an agreement with CrownRock LP at the latter’s inception in 2007 by affiliates of its management team and Lime Rock Partners IV. CrownRock is an acquisition, development and exploration company in oil and gas with properties in Texas, New Mexico and Utah. Operations are primarily focused on the core Permian Midland Basin. There are also operations on the Eastern Shelf, San Juan Basin and Paradox Basin. CrownQuest operates about 98% of CrownRock’s total net wells, and the wells CrownQuest operated for CrownRock provided about 98% of CrownRock’s average daily production in 2018.

30.) Alta Resources LLC

Daily boe: 70,627
HQ: Houston
CEO: Joseph G. Greenberg

Founded in 1999, Alta has been active in exploration and development of oil and gas from the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to the liquids-rich Duvernay Shale play in the Kaybob area of Alberta, Canada. Alta’s current position covers about 547,000 gross and 239,000 net acres producing gas from about 900 wells in the Marcellus across Bradford, Wyoming, Sullivan, Lycoming, Clinton and Centre counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. George P. Mitchell, who is widely regarded as the father of shale gas for his pioneering role in developing the Barnett Shale in Texas, was a longtime partner with Alta prior to his passing.

31.) RockCliff Energy LLC

Daily boe: 70,528
HQ: Houston
CEO: Alan Smith

Rockcliff Energy was founded in 2015 by the former leadership of Quantum Resources Management and QR Energy following the successful growth and monetization of those two entities. The outside investor group is led by Quantum Energy Partners. The strategy is development of the Haynesville Shale in East Texas where it holds more than 250,000 net acres.

32.) Arena Energy

Daily boe: 69,004
HQ: The Woodlands, Texas
Managing Directors: Michael Minarovic, Todd Stone

Arena Energy was founded in 1999 on the belief that mature producing areas of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf still held vast potential. Arena focuses on pursuing the lower-risk prospect opportunities that remain in the Gulf after 50 years of drilling by larger companies. Most of its projects are exploitation drilling prospects identified through detailed and technical field study. As a result, the oil and gas reserve base has been created primarily through drilling wells rather than acquiring existing production. Annual capex averages $300- to $400 million.

33.) Petro-Hunt LLC

Daily boe: 64,877
HQ: Dallas
President: Bruce W. Hunt

Petro-Hunt traces its roots to the 1920s, when the legendary H.L. Hunt entered the oil and gas business in El Dorado, Arkansas. Today, Petro-Hunt has operations in six states. Primary activities are in the Williston Basin, the Powder River, as well as East Texas and the Gulf Coast. It also actively purchases minerals and royalties, owns and operates a gas-processing facility, and is part owner of a refinery. Petro-Hunt also actively invests in real estate development, and operates a private-equity alternative investment division.

34.) Cox Oil LLC

Daily boe: 62,300
HQ: Dallas
CEO: Craig Sanders

Cox was founded by fourth-generation oilman, Brad E. Cox. It owns and operates assets in the Gulf of Mexico. Cox has grown through enhanced development of production and reserves in existing assets along with strategic acquisitions. Cox has assets in both the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the shallow waters off the coast of Louisiana. The company operates more than 600 producing wells from about 500 structures in almost 70 fields offshore Florida to Texas. In 2018, Cox bought Energy XXI for $322 million. SMU’s Cox School of Business is named after this family.

35.) Hunt Oil Co.

Daily boe: 62,107
HQ: Dallas
President: Mark Gunnin

Hunt has significant land positions and active programs in the Williston Basin, the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Marcellus in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In addition to redevelopment of its legacy oil and gas fields, Hunt is active in unconventional plays. Hunt also has a long heritage of international exploration. While the majority of the company's activities are the result of internal prospect generation, Hunt remains open to participation in opportunities generated by others. With ownership in LNG projects in Peru and Yemen, the company aspires to commercialize otherwise stranded gas deposits.

36.) Fleur de Lis Energy LLC

Daily boe: 61,025
HQ: Irving, Texas
CEO: Porter Trimble

Since inception in 2014, Fleur de Lis has built a presence in the Permian Wolfcamp and Spraberry zones; the Monell Unit of the Green River Basin as well as the Salt Creek and Linch Complex, both in Wyoming. It also has three fields in the Selma Chalk in Mississippi, and remains the sixth-largest producer in the historic Barnett. FDL focuses on acquiring onshore, high-quality, low-decline, producing assets. The company has also completed a major CO2 expansion in the Rockies, and reduced LOE on average by 20% over prior operators. Porter Trimble helped build Merit Energy prior to founding FDL.

37.) Kraken Oil & Gas LLC

Daily boe: 57,886
HQ: Houston
CEO: Bruce Larsen

Kraken Oil & Gas is dedicated to operations in the Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota. Since inception in 2012, Kraken has drilled multiple wells and currently operates more than 80 wells in Richland and Roosevelt counties, Montana, as well as Williams County, N.D. The firm has accumulated nearly 90,000 net leasehold acres with more than 10 years of drilling inventory. Kraken is backed by Kayne Anderson.

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38.) Great Western Oil & Gas Co.

Daily boe: 56,769
HQ: Denver
CEO: Rich Frommer

Great Western Oil and Gas, an affiliate of The Broe Group, claims primacy as “the largest private operator in the third-largest oil and gas basin in the country,” the D-J Basin. The Broe Group and its affiliates are a privately owned, multibillion dollar real-estate, transportation, energy and investment organization. Great Western is focused on low-to-medium risk development and exploitation opportunities in oil/liquids weighted, established hydrocarbon provinces, starting with the D-J Basin.

39.) Sabine Oil & Gas LLC

Daily boe: 56,475
HQ: Houston
CEO: Douglas Krenek

Sabine Oil & Gas follows a strategy of acquisition, exploration, development and exploitation onshore in North Texas, targeting the Granite Wash Formation; South Texas, targeting the Eagle Ford Shale; and East Texas, targeting the Cotton Valley Sand and Haynesville Shale. The Granite Wash position includes tight gas plays—Lard Ranch, Buffalo Wallow, Stiles Ranch and Colony West—that run from the Texas Panhandle to Southwest Oklahoma.

40.) Sable Permian Resources LLC

Daily boe: 54,202
HQ: Houston
CEO: James C. Flores

Sable Permian Resources has operational properties in the Permian Basin, specifically the Wolfcamp Shale in the core of the Southern Midland Basin. In 2017, the then-Permian Resources—formerly part of Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners—was acquired for about $750 million by a consortium of The Energy & Minerals Group, OnyxPoint Global Management, Sable Management and other investors.

41.) Castleton Resources LLC

Daily boe: 53,074
HQ: Houston
CEO: Craig Jarchow

Castleton Commodities International (CCI) a global trading house, was once known as Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy. It was taken private and renamed CCI in 2012. The oil and gas operating company is Castleton Resources, in which Tokyo Gas America owns 30%. Castleton Resources holds 163,000 net acres in the Carthage and Gulf Coast areas of the Ark-La-Tex region, as well as more than 800 miles of gas-gathering, water and condensate infrastructure.

42.) Lime Rock Resources

Daily boe: 52,267
HQ: Houston
CEO: Eric Mullins, Charlie Adcock

At the end of 2018, Lime Rock Resources completed an acquisition primarily in Montague, Wise, Denton and Cooke counties, Texas, for about $230 million. The transaction represents Lime Rock Resources’ first acquisition in the Fort Worth Basin. The company has significant positions in the Williston Basin, Permian and West Texas, East Texas-Arkoma, southern and panhandle Oklahoma, Barnett Shale, and an overriding royalty interest in the South Timbalier Gulf of Mexico development of Arena Energy.

43.) Walter Oil & Gas Corp.

Daily boe: 50,123
HQ: Houston
CEO: Ron Wilson

Walter Oil & Gas was founded in 1981 by Joe Walter Jr. Since 1989 the company had been led by his son Rusty, now chairman. The company’s primary focus is offshore Gulf of Mexico, where the company has drilled more than 530 wells since 1983. The company has developed more than 96 subsea projects. More recently operations have been expanded onshore and into emerging unconventional resource plays. The company has been involved in the discovery and development of fields from geo-pressured sands along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts, including the Yegua Sands in Airport Field, southwest of Houston.

44.) Tanos Exploration LLC

Daily boe: 48,817
HQ: Tyler, Texas
CEO: Mark Brandon

Tanos II, with an equity commitment from Quantum Energy Partners, has more than 1,550 operated wells on about 164,000 net acres with a focus on the Ark-La-Tex region. The North Louisiana unit has 649 operated and 326 nonoperated wells. New acquisitions have recently expanded the Tanos footprint to almost 140,000 net acres. Much of the nonoperated ownership has been acquired through the spate of acquisitions made since 2015. The East Texas unit has 286 operated and 323 nonoperated wells on close to 130,000 net acres. That has been amassed through a combination of acquisitions, drill-to-earn joint ventures and greenfield leasing. An active drilling program has been in place for five years, primarily drilling horizontal Cotton Valley Sand wells.

45.) Encino Energy Partners LLC

Daily boe: 43,629
HQ: Houston
CEO: Hardy Murchison

Encino Energy was founded in 2011 by Hardy Murchison. In 2017, Encino Energy formed Encino Acquisition Partners with backing from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; that acquisition vehicle manages more than $1 billion in assets. Encino’s executive chairman is John Pinkerton, previously executive vice president of Snyder Oil and then chairman, CEO and president of Range Resources Corp., where Murchison once worked as vice president of corporate development. EAP closed its first major deal in October 2018, paying $2 billion in cash for Chesapeake Energy’s Ohio Utica assets.

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46.) Tapstone Energy LLC

Daily boe: 43,352
HQ: Oklahoma City
CEO: Steve Dixon

Tapstone Energy is focused on the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. The core development area is the northwest Stack play in the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma. The large, contiguous acreage position is characterized by significant operational control, multiple stacked benches and an extensive inventory of horizontal drilling locations that are expected to offer attractive single-well rates of return. Tapstone also owns interests in mature producing oil and gas with long-lived reserves, predictable production profiles and limited capex. It is backed by GSO Capital Partners.

47.) Southland Royalty Co.

Daily boe: 43,026
HQ: Fort Worth, Texas
CEO: Bob Simpson

Former XTO Energy Inc. executives Bob Simpson and Vaughn Vennerberg acquired dry-gas assets in the San Juan Basin from Energen Corp. in 2014. Their company, Morningstar Partners, also operates under the subsidiary, Southland Royalty. Southland also has a position in the Green River Basin. Southland has financial backing from EnCap Investments.

48.) Bluestone Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 42,667
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: John Redmond

BlueStone operates more than 1,400 wells in the Barnett Shale. In partnership with NGP, the company entered the Fort Worth Basin in 2012 with its acquisition of EOG Resource’s Hill County assets. In 2016, it bought Quicksilver Resource’s Barnett Shale assets as part of the latter’s bankruptcy. Also in the acquisition of Quicksilver, BlueStone gained more than 20,000 acres in Pecos County in the Permian Delaware Basin. The Wolfcamp A is the primary target in this part of the play, with two-section laterals becoming the norm. In South Texas, the focus is on legacy Wilcox producing assets. BlueStone has amassed more than 900 wells through a long history of acquisitions that provide a stable production base with a very low overall decline rate.

49.) Carbon Creek Energy

Daily boe: 42,369
HQ: Midland, Texas
CEO: Alan J. Brown

Carbon Creek produces coalbed methane in the Powder River Basin from 6,800 wells in a naturally-fractured coal seam. No stimulation is required. The depth of its wells ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 feet. The company has benefited from efficiencies and economies of scale by consolidating assets in the same geographic area, previously owned by two companies, and managing them with a focused approach. Carbon Creek also has a 48-mile, 24-inch diameter water pipeline and related infrastructure.

50.) Sheridan Production Partners

Daily boe: 41,642
HQ: Houston
Executive Chairman: Lisa A. Stewart

Sheridan operates mature producing properties in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming. The strategy is to build a diversified portfolio of mature onshore U.S. oil and gas assets. The methodology is to acquire mature producing properties, reinvest in value-enhancing opportunities, and actively manage operations and the portfolio.

51.) Sequitur Energy Resources

dba SEM Operating Co.
Daily boe: 41,467
HQ: Houston
CEO: Scott D. Josey

SEM Operating Co. is a subsidiary of Sequitur Energy Resources, led by the former Mariner Energy executive team with financial backing from Acon Investments. In Irion County, Texas’ southwest corner, Sequitur staked out this claim and the rest of its Permian acreage on the outskirts of the southern Midland in a September 2016 deal with EOG Resources. As of November 2018, Sequitur was running two rigs, one in Irion and the other in Reagan County. The Reagan County acreage is low gas-oil ratio and 80%-plus oil. The Irion County assets are around 30% oil; but those wells come online initially with production at around 80% oil.[Editor's note: Sequitur also recently picked up additional acreage in the Midland Basin from Callon Petroleum.]

52.) BKV Operating LLC

Daily boe: 40,792
HQ: Denver
CEO: Christopher Kalnin

BKV Operating is a subsidiary of BKV Oil and Gas Capital Partners, a fund managed by Kalnin Ventures. In 2017, BKV Operating acquired in two separate transactions, assets in the northeastern Marcellus formerly owned by Carrizo Oil & Gas and by Warren Resources. BKV Operating currently operates 121 producing gas wells across what it considers to be two fields in Appalachia.

53.) Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd.

Daily boe: 39,562
HQ: Midland, Texas
General Manager: Norbert Dickman

Family-owned Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd. celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013. Fasken operates more than 400 leases spanning West Texas, South Texas and New Mexico, encompassing some 390,000 gross acres and 1,400 wells, but mostly on the famous C Ranch northwest of Midland. The Permian development is primarily vertical Wolfberry wells on its fee simple land. Fasken’s Wolfberry wells reach 11,300 feet to include the Spraberry, Wolfcamp, Dean and Strawn formations.

54.) Beacon Offshore Energy LLC

Daily boe: 37,963
HQ: Houston
CEO: Scott R. Gutterman

Beacon Offshore Energy was formed in 2016 with equity capital from Blackstone Energy Partners with a focus on the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Beacon completed its formative acquisition of Miocene-aged properties in the Mississippi Canyon and Viosca Knoll area in 2016, then achieved first production in the second quarter of 2018. From there the company made an initial acquisition in the Wilcox trend as a participant in the Buckskin project in the Keathley Canyon area. It has since expanded the Wilcox position through acquisition of McKinney, Moccasin, Shenandoah and Yucatan discoveries. The meaningful net resource position is in excess of 200 MMboe.

55.) BTA Oil Producers

Daily boe: 36,937
HQ: Midland, Texas
Partners & Directors: Stuart and Barry Beal Jr.

Founded in 1945, BTA Oil Producers is a privately held independent oil producer with more than 70 years experience in exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. It has specialized in drilling, acquisition, development and operation of oil and gas properties for four generations.

56.) Maverick Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 33,579
HQ: Houston
CEO: Chris Heinson

The phoenix of the former mega MLP Breitburn Energy, Maverick Natural Resources emerged last year as the restructured entity and is now majority owned and controlled by EIG Global Energy Partners. Maverick operates its oil and gas properties through its wholly owned subsidiary Breitburn Operating. Those have stable, long-lived production with proved reserve life indices averaging greater than 10 years. Fields generally have long production histories with some dating back to the 1800s. Operations span literally coast to coast: California; Rockies, Wyoming and Colorado; Permian Basin, Texas and New Mexico; Ark-La-Tex, Arkansas, Louisiana and East Texas; Midcontinent, Oklahoma; Midwest, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky; and Southeast, Alabama and Florida.

57.) Capitan Energy Inc.

Daily boe: 32,642
HQ: Carlsbad, N.M.
President: Christopher Blair

In April, Oil and Gas Investor updated its list of the Top 12 wells in the Permian Basin in terms of initial production. Of the dozen, only one was completed prior to 2017: that was Capitan Energy’s 1H Lauren State 30 Wolfcamp well in the Delaware Basin, completed November 2014, with an IP of 3,658 bbl condensate and 5.921 MMcf. In December 2018, Capitan reported two horizontal Wolfcamp gas producers in the Delaware Basin in Culberson County, Texas. The Roxanne Fee 46 2H well flowed 5.5 MMcf of gas, 1,223 bbl of 49.8-degree-gravity condensate and 3,677 bbl of water per day.

58.) Bedrock Energy Partners LLC

Daily boe: 31,507
HQ: Houston
EVP: Will Todd

Bedrock Energy Partners is a privately funded E&P focused on the acquisition and exploitation of upstream assets. Primary focus is the Barnett Shale and other mature basins. Bedrock currently owns and operates gas-weighted properties in the Barnett Shale. It also holds nonoperated positions in West Texas and across adjacent counties in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma.

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59.) EnVen Energy Corp.

Daily boe: 30,822
HQ: Houston
CEO: Steve Weyel

EnVen is a Gulf of Mexico company operating primarily offshore Louisiana and Alabama ranging from Atwater Valley (Neptune Field) in 4,250 feet of water and Green Canyon 158 (Brutus) at 2,900 feet; through Ewing Bank 1003 (Prince), Viosca Knoll 786 (Petronius), and Mississippi Canyon 194 (Cognac) in the range of 1,000 to 1,700 feet; to Main Pass 281 and Vermillion 356 in just a few hundred feet. Enven was formed in 2014 with commitments from Bain Capital and EIG.

60.) Enduring Resources LLC

Daily boe: 30,594
HQ: Denver
CEO: Barth E. Whitham

Enduring was formed in 2004 by the former management team of Westport Resources, a publicly traded Rocky Mountain-based E&P that was sold to Kerr-McGee in 2003. In 2014, Enduring II exited the southern Midland Basin in a sale to American Energy Partners for $2.5 billion. The current Enduring is focused in the San Juan and Uinta basins. EnCap Investments is the financial backer.

61.) Ursa Operating Co. LLC

Daily boe: 28,041
HQ: Denver
CEO: Steve Skinner

Ursa began in 2008 and currently focuses on the Piceance Basin, and is active is Sulphur Creek, Kokopelli and Mamm Creek fields. The company is backed by Denham Capital.

62.) JKLM Energy LLC

Daily boe: 27,011
HQ: Sewickley, Pa.
CEO: Terry Pegula

Founded by former East Resources management, JKLM holds 120,000 acres located in Potter County, Pa. The company targets the Burkett, Marcellus and Utica formations, and drilled the first Utica well in the north-central Pennsylvania County.

63.) Admiral Permian Resources LLC

Daily boe: 26,586
HQ: Midland, Texas
CEO: Denzil West

Admiral Permian formed in 2017 and is pushing the economic boundaries of the Delaware Basin westward. Last year it acquired more than 59,000 net acres in Reeves and Culberson counties from Three Rivers Operating Co. III. Ares Management and Pine Brook Partners back Admiral Permian.

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64.) Tecolote Energy LLC

Daily boe: 26,156
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: Maurice Storm

Tecolote was founded in May of 2015, the next iteration of the Crow Creek Energy team, with private-equity backing from NGP. Tecolote operates more than 1,200 wells on 210,000 net acres in the western Anadarko Basin. In 2018, it announced a 4,100-boe/d well in Hemphill County, Texas, from the Cleveland Formation.

65.) EagleRidge Energy

Daily boe: 26,074
HQ: Dallas
CEO: Michael Ronca

Led by the former Tenneco Inc. CEO, EagleRidge’s primary focus is in the Barnett Shale of North Texas where the company operates over 1,400 wells on 184,000 gross acres across 22 counties. In 2017, it purchased 130,000 net acres in Erath, Denton, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties from Trinity River Energy, making it one of the largest Barnett Shale producers.

66.) Jay-Bee Oil & Gas Inc.

Daily boe: 26,027
HQ: Cairo, W.Va.
CEO: Randy Broda

A West Virginia pure play formed in 1982, Jay-Bee operates more than 450 wells across five counties in the northwestern region of the state. Historical production comes from shallow formations such as the Gordon, Injun and Devonian, but the company began Marcellus development in 2007.

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67.) Discovery Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 25,336
HQ: Denver
CEO: Steve Turk

Formed in 2003, Discovery Natural today focuses on the southern Midland Basin, where it holds 110,000 net acres primarily in Reagan County, Texas, and nearby Irion County. Here, it is developing five zones in the Wolfcamp: two in the A, two in the B and one in the C. It has 1,300 horizontal locations.

68.) BCE-Mach

Daily boe: 25,258
HQ: Oklahoma City
CEO: Tom L. Ward

Formed in 2018 by the former SandRidge Energy CEO, BCE-Mach quickly built a Mississippi Lime position in Kansas and Oklahoma with acquisitions from Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Repsol E&P USA, making it the most active company in the play, according to Ward. BCE-Mach is backed by Bayou City Energy.

69.) Arsenal Resources

Daily boe: 25,213
HQ: Wexford, Pa.
CEO: Jon Farmer

Once known as Mountaineer Keystone before a rebranding in 2017, the Marcellus Shale-focused Arsenal squeezed itself through a fast pre-packed Chapter 11 that culminated in February. Arsenal holds 208,000 net acres prospective for Marcellus, primarily in West Virginia. First Reserve is a financial sponsor of Arsenal.

70.) Escondido Resources

Daily boe: 25,191
HQ: Katy, Texas
CEO: William E. Deupree

Fourteen-year-old Escondido focuses on the Eagle Ford Shale and the Escondido/Olmos formations in Webb and La Salle counties in South Texas, where it holds 40,000-plus acres and more than 300 drilling locations. Current net production exceeds 100 MMcf/d of natural gas.

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71.) Northeast Natural Energy LLC

Daily boe: 24,795
HQ: Morgantown, W.Va.
CEO: Mike John

Before forming NNE in 2009, CEO Mike John was vice president of operations for Chesapeake Energy’s eastern division and oversaw the company’s first 100 Marcellus wells drilled. The company holds about 56,000 acres, with 44,000 in Monongalia and Marion counties, W.Va., where it is focused. The company expected to have 90 wells online by June.

72.) GBK Corp.

Dba Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. Inc.
Daily boe: 24,780
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: George B. Kaiser

A family-owned E&P since the 1940s, Kaiser-Francis is the oil and gas operations of legendary oilman and philanthropist George Kaiser. The company has operations in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and Oklahoma. Recent activity includes horizontal completions in the Marchand Sand (Hoxbar) interval in Caddo County, Okla., and a horizontal Codell producer in the northern Denver-Julesburg Basin in Laramie County, Wyo. At press time, KFOC was offering certain Niobrara/Codell acreage for sale.

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73.) Pennsylvania General Energy

Daily boe: 24,396
HQ: Warren, Pa.
CEO: Douglas E. Kuntz

This 30-year-old company was one of the first to drill horizontally in the Marcellus Shale in 2008. WikiMarcellus reports the company operates over 1,100 wells in the Appalachian Basin, with rights to 439,000 acres in Pennsylvania, including leases in Elk, Forest, McKean and Potter counties, and in New York, where it has been active in the Trenton-Black River play.

74.) Red Willow Production

Daily boe: 24,048
HQ: Ignacio, Colo.
CEO: Rex Doyle

Formed in 1992 to manage oil and gas assets on the Southern Ute Indian Tribe land in the San Juan Basin, the E&P now has reserves and production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Delaware Basin and Jonah Field in the Green River Basin, Wyo.

75.) Cantium LLC

Daily boe: 23,598
HQ: Covington, La.
CEO: Richard Kirkland

Cantium’s assets, acquired in 2017 from Chevron, comprise Gulf of Mexico shallow water fields located in the Bay Marchand and Main Pass areas offshore Louisiana. Cantium is backed by York Capital Management and Sole Source Capital.

76.) Felix Energy Holdings II LLC

Daily boe: 23,177
HQ: Denver
CEO: Skye A. Callantine

Following its $2 billion exit from the Stack play in 2016, the Felix team has moved its trailer to the eastern Delaware Basin. It holds more than 70,000 net acres in Loving, Winkler and Ward counties. Felix is an EnCap Investments portfolio company.

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77.) Rimrock Oil & Gas

Daily boe: 22,761
HQ: Greenwood Village, Colo.
CEO: James Frazier

In 2017, start-up RimRock acquired operations of 100-plus producing wells and 30,000 net acres in the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Dunn County, N.D., from Whiting Petroleum Corp. for $500 million. RimRock is a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus.

78.) Sentinel Peak Resources LLC

Daily boe: 22,717
HQ: Englewood, Colo.
CEO: Michael Duginski

Led by former Berry Petroleum executives, Sentinel Peak formed in 2016 with the acquisition of Freeport-McMoran onshore California assets for $592 million, with plans to focus on heavy oil development in California. The company, under heavy local pushback last year, decided to close its urban South Los Angeles drillsite and plug the wells there. Sentinel Peak is backed by Quantum Energy Partners.

79.) Greylock Energy

Daily boe: 22,708
HQ: Charleston, W.Va.
CEO: Kyle Mork

Greylock formed in 2017 from a carve-out of Energy Corp. of America’s Appalachian assets in partnership with ArcLight Capital Partners. The company is built on more than 900,000 acres, about 4,400 wells and 2,600 miles of pipeline.

80.) Snyder Brothers Inc.

Daily boe: 22,177
HQ: Kittanning, Pa.
CEO: David E. Snyder Jr.

This four-decade-old private operator is one of the largest family-owned E&Ps in Pennsylvania with assets in Armstrong, Indiana, Clarion, Warren, Jefferson, Fayette, Westmoreland, McKean, and Clearfield counties.

81.) Patriot Resources Inc.

Daily boe: 22,808
HQ: Midland, Texas
CEO: Ben Strickling

Held by West Texas oilman and rancher Ben Strickling, Patriot focuses on the southern Delaware Basin with a particular emphasis on the Bone Spring.

82.) Casillas Petroleum Corp.

Daily boe: 21,979
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: Greg Casillas

With 53,000 acres prospective for Woodford and Sycamore reservoirs in Grady, Cleveland and Garvin counties, Okla., the company began a co-development, stacked-spacing program in November. Its subsidiary, Casillas Petroleum Resource Partners LLC, is a partnership with Kayne Anderson Energy Funds.

The Top 100 Private E&Ps (11)83.) Hawkwood Energy LLC

Daily boe: 21,144
HQ: Denver
CEO: Patrick Oenbring

Hawkwood was founded in 2012 with equity commitments from Warburg Pincus and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The company holds in excess of 170,000 net acres in the East Texas Eagle Ford play and is looking at Austin Chalk opportunities.

84.) Texas Petroleum Investment Co.

Daily boe: 21,058
HQ: Houston
CEO: H.B. Sallee

Founded in 1989, long-time conventional producer TPIC operates more than 2,000 producing wells along the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

85.) Primexx Energy Partners Ltd.

Daily boe: 20,688
HQ: Dallas
CEO: Thomas Fagadau

Primexx holds assets in Texas and Oklahoma, including the southern Delaware Basin. Recent activity targets the Wolfcamp Formation in Reeves County in Wolfbone and Phantom fields. Primexx has received backing from Blackstone.

86.) Scout Energy Partners

Daily boe: 20,678
HQ: Dallas
CEO: John Baschab

Scout acquires mature, conventional and producing assets via self-sourced investment funds for institutional investors. Scout Fund IV, completed July 2018, holds assets in West Texas, the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. In February, Scout picked up assets along the Permian Basin’s eastern shelf for $60 million from Mid-Con Energy Partners.

The Top 100 Private E&Ps (12)87.) Logos Resources II LLC

Daily boe: 20,407
HQ: Farmington, N.M.
CEO: Jay Paul McWilliams

Formed in 2016 to scour the San Juan Basin, Logos’ anchor assets were acquired from Energen Corp. and WPX Energy Inc. as these publics exited for Permian aspirations. It now controls about 260,000 net acres with current net production of about 46 MMcfe/d. Logos II is an ArcLight Capital Partners portfolio company.

88.) Nadel and Gussman LLC

Daily boe: 20,157
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: Jim Adelson

Nadel and Gussman dates to the 1940s with assets scattered throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Louisiana. In 2017, the company invested alongside Post Oak Capital to drill in the Haynesville Shale.

89.) Sage Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 20,118
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: Gavin McQueen

Sage was formed in 2017 and holds a large operated portfolio producing from the Barnett Shale in North Texas. It has secured permits in Parker County targeting Marble Falls, and also has been actively recompleting Barnett wells in the county.

90.) Gulftex Energy

Daily boe: 20,089
HQ: San Antonio
CEO: Brad Jauer

GulfTex Energy IV is funded by Wells Fargo, Prudential and GSO Capital Partners and is focused on building a portfolio of assets in the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk plays in South Texas where it has 12,000 net acres. Gulftex also holds assets in the Midland and Delaware basins and the Scoop and Stack play in Oklahoma.

91.) Lario Oil & Gas Co.

Daily boe: 19,388
HQ: Wichita, Kan.
CEO: Mike O'Shaughnessy

Going strong at 92, Lario has operations in the Permian Basin, the Greater Green River Basin, the Williston Basin, the Denver-Julesburg Basin, the Midcontinent, the Arkoma Basin, South Texas and in the Utica Shale. The company entered the Midland Basin in 2017 with a $345 million deal in Midland and Martin counties.

92.) Bravo Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 19,523
HQ: Tulsa, Okla.
CEO: Charles Stephenson

In its fifth iteration, Bravo is backed by Natural Gas Partners. The company is currently active in the Arkoma and Cherokee basins in Oklahoma, with wells in Coal, Hughes, Atoka and Pittsburg counties. Target formations include Sylvan, Hunton, Woodford, Mississippian, Caney, Oil Creek, Viola, Bromide and McLish.

93.) MDC Texas Energy LLC

Daily boe: 19,447
HQ: Midland, Texas
COO: Paul Cyphers

MDC operates in the Delaware and Midland basins. In November, it reported a Wolfcamp discovery in Reeves County, #1HR Secretariat 10, flowing 649 bbl of oil and 6.87 MMcf of gas per day.

94.) Nine Point Energy LLC

Daily boe: 18,619
HQ: Denver
CEO: Dominic Spencer

The new face of the former Triangle Petroleum following a 2017 Chapter 11, Nine Point now holds and largely operates 160 wells on about 73,000 net acres in the Williston Basin, primarily in Williams and McKenzie counties, N.D.

95.) Zavanna LLC

Daily boe: 18,574
HQ: Denver
CEO: David Hodges

Zavanna launched in 1994 and controls some 70,000 net acres in Williams and McKenzie counties in North Dakota targeting the Bakken Shale.

96.) Verdun Oil LLC

Daily boe: 18,431
HQ: Houston
CEO: Tim Nein

Formed in 2015 with backing from EnCap Investments, Verdun owns some 25,000 Eagle Ford Shale net acres in LaSalle, Live Oak, McMullen, Dimmit, DeWitt and Gonzales counties in South Texas, and 60,000 net acres in the Austin Chalk trend in Washington and Burleson counties, Texas. Verdun plans 36 wells in 2019.

97.) Geosouthern Energy Corp.

Daily boe: 18,362
HQ: The Woodlands, Texas
CEO: Margaret Molleston

First formed in 1981, Geosouthern currently operates largely in Fayette and Washington counties, Texas, in the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk trends, where it drilled 10 wells in 2018. In 2014, GeoSouthern sold its Eagle Ford portfolio to Devon Energy Corp. for $6 billion.

98.) Valence Operating Co.

Daily boe: 17,996
HQ: Kingwood, Texas
CEO: Bud Scherr

In 2018, Valence ran one rig and brought online 11 wells largely in the East Texas Basin. One of those wells was a Cotton Valley horizontal in Rusk County that flowed 4.403 MMcf of gas and 20 bbl of 53.5-degree-gravity condensate, according to IHS Markit data. It also drilled a vertical test in Smith County, which could be completed in the Rodessa or Travis Peak.

99.) Paloma Resources LLC

Daily boe: 17,887
HQ: Houston
CEO: Chris O’Sullivan

Founded in 2004, Paloma is currently doing business as Paloma Partners IV. It operates a two-rig program on 77,000 net acres in the Stack/Merge plays in Oklahoma. Paloma IV is backed by EnCap Investments and Macquarie Americas. Paloma III sold out of the Utica Shale in 2015 to Gulfport Energy Corp.

100.) Camino Natural Resources LLC

Daily boe: 17,791
HQ: Oklahoma City
CEO: Ward Polzin

Camino is a Scoop/Stack/Merge player in Central Oklahoma with some 100,000 net acres. It was founded in 2017 with an equity commitment from NGP Energy Capital. It operates about 250 wells and owns interests in some 700 additional wells.

Steve Toon can be reached at stoon@hartenergy.com and Gregory DL Morris at gmorris@hartenergy.com.

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