Net worth

US energy magnates see their net worth jump 10% since the start of the war in Ukraine

As soaring oil prices continue amid growing demand and tight supply, US energy stocks have soared – and the country’s oil and gas moguls are laughing all the way to the bank.

According to Bloomberg Billionaires IndexUS energy billionaires have seen their net worth jump 10% to $239 billion since Russia launched its war on Ukraine, with a business founder catapulted into the ranks of the world’s 500 richest people.

The increase in wealth was mainly driven by a surge in energy stock prices thanks to a corresponding rise in fuel prices, driven by concerns about disruptions to Russian production in the face of sanctions imposed by the United States and its Western allies. Crude Brent, the international benchmark, has gained up to 32% since the outbreak of the war.

Here’s a look at how America’s wealthiest energy billionaires have seen their fortunes multiply in what’s shaping up to be another epic oil and gas bull market. The list only includes people who primarily made their money in oil and gas and does not include clean energy investors.

#1. Harold Ham

Country: United States

Industry: Oil and Gas

Net worth: $19.5 billion

Year-to-date change: +$5.75 billion (+41.2%)

Harold Hamm is President of Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR), the largest oil producer in the Bakken Oil Basin in North Dakota and Montana. After a torrid run in 2021 that saw its shares triple in value, the Oklahoma City-based publicly traded company has seen its shares soar another 35.1% since the start of the year – and the wealthiest energy billionaire of the United States is certainly not complaining about it.

After all, Hamm saw his net worth jump 41.2% in just three months, and its position in Bloomberg’s Wealth Index climbed 37 places to 84th.

A few weeks ago, Continental Resources announced that it commit $250 million over the next two years to help fund the development and construction of the largest carbon capture and sequestration project of its kind in the world.

As of December 31, 2021, its proved reserves were 1,645 million barrels of crude oil equivalent (MMBoe) with proved developed reserves of 908 MMBoe.

#2. Jeffrey Hildebrand

Country: United States

Industry: Oil and Gas

Net worth: $13.2 billion

Year-to-date change: +$6.63 billion (+101%)

Jeffrey Hildebrand is the Founder, President and CEO of Hilcorp Energy Company, one of the largest private exploration and production companies in the United States. Hildebrand saw his net worth more than double in the first three months of 2022 to make him the second richest energy billionaire in the United States.

A member of the All American Wildcatters, Hildebrand previously worked for the American energy capital companythe Dan A. Hughes Societyand Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) before founding Hilcorp Energy Company in 1990. Hildebrand then bought out his partner for $500 million in 2003.

Hilcorp has repeatedly been named one of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and made waves in 2013 after giving all of its 1,380 employees a $100,000 Christmas bonus. With another oil price boom unfolding, perhaps Hilcorp employees are ready for another round of largesse from Hildebrand.

#3. Richard Kinder

Country: United States

Industry: Oil and Gas

Net worth: $8.66 billion

Change since the beginning of the year: +$606 million (+7.5%)

Richard Kinder is the chairman and largest shareholder of Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), a publicly traded pipeline and energy storage company. KMI operates 144 terminals and 83,000 miles of pipelines that transport natural gas, crude oil, ethanol and other petroleum products.

Kinder served as the founding Managing Director of the company in 1997 until 2015.

A week ago, Kinder Morgan and Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking him not to apply a tough new climate standard gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas projects already under consideration. Kinder Morgan has two projects pending FERC approval: construction or modification of three compressor stations on pipelines in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and construction of 13 miles of new pipeline and two new compressor stations on its Louisiana and Mississippi Gas Pipeline System.

In the past, KMI has been accused of not being aggressive enough with climate action, which could explain the stock’s lackluster gain of 12.3% year-to-date vs. Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLE).

#4. George Kaiser

Country: United States

Industry: Oil and Gas

Net worth: $7.70 billion

Year-to-date change: +$2.53 billion (+48.9%)

George Bruce Kaiser, Tulsa, a prominent Oklahoma philanthropist, is chairman, CEO and principal owner of GBK Corporation, parent company of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, which he has led for nearly 50 years.

Kaiser took control of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company in 1969 after his father had a heart attack. At the time, Kaiser-Francis was a little-known private oil prospecting and drilling company. Under George’s leadership, however, it became the largest non-public energy exploration company in the United States, with annual turnover of about 560 million dollars. According to

Kaiser is also the president of Bank of Oklahoma, that he bought from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation placed in receivership in 1990.

#5. Dannine Avara

Country: United States

Industry: Oil and Gas

Net worth: $7.49 billion

Change since the start of the year: +$521 million (+7.4%)

Dannine Avara is a billionaire heiress to the Duncan family, per Enterprise Products Partners LP. (NYSE:EPD), a Texas-based energy pipeline giant that remains under family control. Due to a temporary repeal of the estate tax law for the year 2010, Duncan became, along with her brother Scott, the first American billionaire to pay no estate tax since its enactment.

Enterprise Products Partners LP provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products. The Company’s Gas Pipelines and Services segment operates gas pipeline networks to collect, process and transport natural gas. EPD also leases underground salt dome natural gas storage facilities in Napoleonville, Louisiana and owns an underground salt dome storage cavern in Wharton County, Texas.

EPD is a heavy dividend payer and currently has a yield (FWD) of 7.44%. EPD stocks, however, continue to lag the sector with a 10.5% year-to-date gain.

By Alex Kimani for

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