It is not news that the oil and gas industry is a very lucrative one. Little or no wonder why some of the investors in the industry are billionaires in the world.
We would be sharing the top billionaires in the Oil and Energy industry according to Forbes 2016. The list is an amazing compilation of great industry leaders. The people on this list have made a good fortune from the energy industry.
- Warren Buffet – Worth $63 billion, his Berkshire Hathaway has a vast energy portfolio, including $4.5 billion in shares of Phillips 66. Its electric power division generated $2.7 billion in net income last year. Berkshire’s BNSF railroad moves about 1 million barrels of oil per day.
- Charles and David Koch – Worth $40 billion each, their company, Koch Industries, is the second largest private company in America, valued at $100 billion. Among its vast operations, Koch refines more than 600,000 barrels of oil per day and manages 4,000 miles of pipeline.
- Mukesh Ambani – Worth $19 billion, Ambani, 58, runs Reliance Industries from Mumbai, India. Shares have taken a hit from lower oil prices. The $62.2 billion (revenues) conglomerate is likely to resume buying crude oil from Iran after the lifting of sanctions.
- Carl Icahn – worth $17 billion, shares of Icahn’s publicly traded investment vehicle, Icahn Enterprises, plunged 45% in the last year. The drop in oil and commodities have hit Icahn particularly hard, slamming his holdings in companies like Chesapeake Energy, Transocean, CVR Energy and Freeport McRoRan.
- Randa Williams & Family – $16.4 billion. Dan Duncan started Enterprise Products Partners in 1968 with $10,000 and a truck. Today the company owns 49,000 miles of pipelines. When Duncan died in 2010, he left his fortune to his four children, Randa Williams, Dannine Avara, Milane Frantz, and Scott Duncan. Randa serves as non-executive chairman of the Enterprise Products board.
- Len Blavatnik – worth $16 billion, Len Blavatnik, emigrated to the U.S. in 1978, invested in post-Soviet aluminum and energy assets, made a fortune in the 2009 bankruptcy of LyondellBasell, then a bigger one selling his 12.5% of TNK-BP to Rosneft for $7 billion in 2011.
- Leonid Mikhelson – worth $14.4 billion, Mikhelson, is the main shareholder in natural gas producer Novatek and petrochemical maker Sibur. Billionaire Gennady Timchenko is his partner in both. In December 2015, Sinopec bought a 10% stake in Sibur for $1.3 billion. Moscow-based Mikhelson also has a small stake in Promsvyazbank. Mikhelson’s father headed the largest pipeline construction trust in the Soviet Union, and Mikhelson began his career as a foreman for a construction company building a gas pipeline in Russia’s Tyumen region.
- Elon Musk – worth $12 billion Musk, founded and runs two moonshot tech companies: Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He’s also chairman of SolarCity, the publicly traded solar panel installer run by his cousin, Lyndon Rive. Last year Tesla unveiled the Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack designed to work with SolarCity installations. Its batteries will be built at Tesla’s battery Gigafactory in Nevada.
- Gennady Timchenko – worth $11.4 billion Timchenko, is the co-founder of energy trading giant Gunvor Group. Timchenko sold his 43% stake to business partner Torbjorn Tornqvist in March 2014. He has stakes in gas company Novatek, petrochemical producer Sibur Holding, railway operator Transoil and construction corporation STG Group.
- Mike Adenuga – worth $10.5 billion, most of Adenuga’s fortune is tied to his mobile phone network Globacom, but Adenuga, also owns Conoil, which holds 6 exploration blocks in the Niger Delta. Nigeria’s second richest man studied in the U.S., getting an MBA at Pace University in New York, where he drove taxis to support himself. He returned to Nigeria and made his first fortune trading lace and Coca-Cola. Along the way, he made friends with Nigerian military bigwigs who awarded him lucrative state contracts.
- Viktor Vekselberg – is worth $10.5 billion. With Mikhail Fridman and Leonard Blavatnik in 2013, he sold a 50% stake in joint oil venture TNK-BP to state-owned Rosneft for $28 billion; Vekselberg got $7 billion.
- Vagit Alekperov – worth $8.9 billion, Alekperov, heads Lukoil, Russia’s largest independent oil company, which is developing the giant West Qurna-2 oilfield in Iraq. It planned to invest $1.5 billion in 2016. Alekperov had previously willed his Lukoil stake to his only son, Yusuf, with the caveat that he couldn’t sell it, ensuring that the family remained the oil giant’s largest shareholder. A former Caspian Sea oil rig worker, Alekperov became a deputy minister overseeing the oil industry in the Soviet Union. In 1991 he took three large ministry-controlled oil fields and set up Lukoil. Alekperov penned a book called “Oil of Russia: Past, Present, and Future.”
- John Fredriksen – worth $8.8 billion, Fredriksen, had a tough year in 2015 as he watched shares of his deepwater drillship operator Seadrill collapse with oil prices. The business could have been on the mend for his Frontline oil tanker business as the global oil glut maxed out onshore storage capacity. He became an oil trader in Beirut and made his first fortune in the early 1980s as what his biographer called “the Ayatollah’s lifeline,” moving Iranian crude during the Iran-Iraq war. His tankers were hit by Iraqi missiles three times.