206. Jef­fery Hilde­brand

Forbes - - PROMOTION -

A former Exxon­mo­bil ge­ol­o­gist, Hilde­brand co­founded Hil­corp in 1989 and later bought out his part­ner for $500 mil­lion. By spe­cial­iz­ing in squeez­ing more oil and gas out of ma­ture fields, he has built Hil­corp into the na­tion’s big­gest pri­vately owned oil com­pany, with operations in Texas, Louisiana, Alaska and Ohio, where reg­u­la­tors have blamed his drilling for a se­ries of earth­quakes. Hil­corp has co­op­er­ated with of­fi­cials. He teamed up with Car­lyle Group in April to buy Cono­cophillips’ gas fields in Colorado and New Mex­ico for $3 billion. He owns a 957-acre ranch near Aspen that once be­longed to John Den­ver.

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