T. Boone Pickens
|T. Boone Pickens|
|Occupation||founder and chairman|
|Employer||BP Capital Management|
Thomas Boone Pickens, born May 22, 1928, is founder and chairman of BP Capital Management, an energy-focused investment fund, and principal of TBP and BPC. He is also founder of Mesa Petroleum, the largest independent producer of domestic oil and gas.
Pickens began his career working as a roughneck and in a refinery before he worked as a geologist for Phillips Petroleum. Pickens left the company in 1954 where he was a self-employed consultant. He founded the company that became Mesa Petroleum in 1956 and formed a partnership with Eugene McCaartt and John O'Brien, his wife's uncle to create Petroleum Exploration. Petroleum Exploration sold oil and mineral prospects early and then in 1958 discovered eight gas and one oil well.
In 1964, Picken's took Petroleum Exploration public and renamed the company Mesa Petroleum.
Pickens is known for his acquisitions as well. In 1969, Mesa acquired about one-third of Hugoton Production Co. and the companies merged later. Mesa late acquired Swisher County Cattle Co. and increased cattle production into the second largest cattle feeder operation in the U.S.
In 1985, Pickens merged his company with Pioneer to forge the largest independent oil company in the world and reorganized it as Mesa Limited Partnership. Also in 1985, he founded Boone Company. And in 1991, he sold off a significant stake in Mesa to Seagull Energy of Houston.
Pickens is a controversial figure as a corporate raider accused of breaking up companies. His Pickens Plan, launched in July 2008, advocates a massive shift in US energy policy, from crude oil to wind and natural gas.
He received a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) in 1951, in geology.