McCarthy, like some of the other oil tycoons fell on hard times in the 1950s, as the major oil companies started to import cheap oil from the Middle East. Although not entirely wiped out, Texas and other Western States oil barons made little headlines and barely expanded their fortunes for two decades, until the Arab oil embargo changed the price of crude oil and thereby dramatically increased their fortunes. In the meantime, some of the early wildcatter millionaires successfully entered the international oil business, developing oil concessions in countries or areas then neglected by the majors.
Jean Paul Getty, the heir of a California wildcatter and in his younger years himself an oil operator in Oklahoma, developed Saudi Arabia’s share of the oil fields in the Neutral Zone, a territory shared with Kuwait. Thus he became the most successful American independent in the international oil business and greatly increased his already huge fortune.
Nelson Bunker Hunt, a son of Haroldson Lafayette, shared the fabulous Sarir oil field in Lybia with British Petroleum and could well have ended richer than his father, were it not for the ascension to power of ‘Colonel’ Muammar Qaddafi and the subsequent, though not immediate, nationalization of foreign oil interests.
And Wendell Phillips, an archaeologist and probably the most romantic of American oil operators, went to Yemen and Oman to uncover its historical treasures and became such a great friend of the sultan, that the latter gave him invaluable oil concessions, which made him a $500 million fortune on royalties
more about the wilcatters turned oil barons in the following pages
"A Classification of American Wealth"
and the formation of Texas Big Four :
Gulf, Texaco, Humble and Magnolia
The Hunts : Texas' richest oil barons
Haroldson Lafayette Hunt
The Hunt Brothers - a mega failure (coming later)
Jean Paul Getty
The Getty family and legacy (coming later)
Other oil barons (coming later)
From the Encyclopedia of American Wealth
list : Oil Barons (1949)
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