Investment

Billionaire brothers through their family offices target fracking/petroleum assets

For the most part, billionaires targeting energy investing are investing in the clean part of it, but a few think fossil fuel is still a good way to make money, particularly as the value of assets associated with the petroleum and gas industry is currently cheap.

Texan-based billionaire brothers Dan and Farris Wilks are buying up a number of petroleum/fracking assets to add to their already substantial assets in the sector. The brothers are legends in the oil and gas industry in Texas after they sold their fracking company Frac Tech for a reported $3.5 billion in 2011. 

Last month, the brothers acquired a 10% stake in hydraulic fracking business, US Well Services, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The acquisition was made through Dan’s investment group THRC Holdings and a company owned by the brothers, ProFrac. 

Also through THRC, Dan has acquired stakes in struggling oilfield services businesses for a number of years, including stakes in ProPetro Holding Corp and NexTier Oilfield Solutions. 

The brothers’ joint investment office Cisco-based Wilks Brothers has also been involved in a lengthy takeover battle for Canada’s Calfrac Well Services. That battle ended up in the Canadian Supreme Court last April. 

The brothers reckon there’s still money to be made in fossil fuel – and given the recent surge in oil prices they might just be right. 

The price of Brent Crude Oil in the last year

But in the meantime, they also own huge amounts of land – according to reports around 700,000 acres, mostly across the states of Montona, Idaho, and Texas. Forbes says the brothers, who grew up poor, but saw an opportunity in supplying equipment for the burgeoning fracking sector in the early 2000s, are the 12th biggest landowners in the US.  

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