The history of the wild west is closely followed by the American oil wildcatters and their bankers. Today, the United states is facing some of the most tumultuous disasters ever recorded. Who would have ever guessed that a game of Russian, and OPEC, oil price roulette would be followed by the Covid-19 economic disaster. That being said, the old saying "History has a way of repeating itself" is kind of frighting.  

We had the opportunity to sit down with Buddy Clark, Partner/co-chair for Haynes and Boone's Energy Practice Group, to talk about his book. Oil Capital is a historical look at the emergence of the US oil and gas industry. The key difference between the success in the United States and other countries is private ownership. It is also interesting to find out that our current law practices around mineral rights actually can be traced back to a scriveners error. 

The rise of OPEC in the 80s meant the end of the Texas Railroad Commissions ability to impact global prices. The 80s also had some other trying times round the banking institutions inability to survive. The oil collapse in 1986 caught everyone off guard. I personally liked the quote from Fred Moses, President of Liberty National Bank say; "This happened so damn quickly-in 90 days. We all expected a dip, but none of us assumed it would be such a precipitous drop".

The relationship between oil and it's investors has always been challenging. Now it is time to see who can learn from the past and survive for the next adventure in oil. Please buy the book, read the foot notes, and call me to talk about what you see relevant in today's market. 

Thank you Buddy for taking the time to visit with us, it was a real treat for Michael and myself.



About Buddy Clark 

Buddy Clark - Partner -Co-Chair Energy Practice Group - oilandgas360


BERNARD "BUDDY" F. CLARK, JR.

Partner|Co-chair - Energy Practice Group

Buddy Clark is the co-chair for the firm’s Energy Practice Group representing clients in the oil and gas industry, including banks, private capital providers and producers in secured and unsecured credit transactions and equity investments; producers, joint venturers and midstream companies in oil and gas exploration, production and development agreements, and producing property and midstream acquisitions, joint developments and partnerships; and energy related litigation and bankruptcies. In June 2016, Buddy published Oil Capital: The History of American Oil, Wildcatters, Independents and Their Bankers, which traces the relationship between independent producers and their capital providers in America’s oil and gas industry. Buddy is a frequent speaker at oil and gas conferences and is often cited as an authority on current issues facing the oil and gas industry in trade publications and financial journals.


Buddy is also a regular panelist on the Haynes and Boone Weekly Energy Tracker.






The history of oilmen and the energy bankers who loan them capital is inextricably bound together. Energy bankers have reacted, adjusted and evolved alongside the same business cycles, regulatory changes and commodity-price gyrations that have challenged the generations of oilmen they banked. In many respects, however, it is remarkable how little has changed during the past 100 years in the fundamentals of lending against collateral that has been hidden underground for millions of years. Nor has there been much change in the relationship between the early wildcatters willing to risk their—and their banker’s—last dime and the bankers who cautiously evaluate the oilmen and their collateral.


Along with manpower, rigs and drill pipe, capital has always been a critical tool in the exploration for and development of oil and gas. From the earliest days of the industry, producers have required more start-up capital for acquisition, drilling and development of oil fields than can be generated out of cash flow from existing production. The accomplishments of oil companies were and are as dependent upon access to capital as access to the hydrocarbons they seek to exploit. This book tells the story of the enduring relationship of oil and gas producers and oil and gas bankers in the context of the evolution of the two industries.



Buy the book on Amazon at : Oil Capital



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