The Eagle Ford billionaires

RODNEY LEWIS

Natural-gas driller Rodney Lewis, 60, the founder of Lewis Energy, is the second-richest San Antonian, with a net worth of $2.4 billion, and is tied with others at No. 731 in the world. Lewis is a former guager and longtime South Texas driller who got into the Eagle Ford early.

The Forbes list of the world’s richest people came out this week - and it includes some Eagle Ford Shale fortunes.

George Bishop of The Woodlands, who founded GeoSouthern Energy in 1981, ranked No. 446 on the list with $3.5 billion in net worth. Forbes estimates the 77-year-old Bishop will clear $1.5 billion from the $6 billion sale of Eagle Ford shale assets to Devon Energy. GeoSouthern was one of the first companies into the South Texas oil play.

Bishop’s company still has oil and gas fields along the Gulf Coast. Bishop also owns the Eagleford Restaurant in Cuero and is a partner in the River Ridge Golf Club in Sealy, the magazine said.

Natural-gas driller Rodney Lewis, 60, the founder of Lewis Energy, is the second-richest San Antonian, with a net worth of $2.4 billion, and is tied with others at No. 731 in the world. A year ago, the magazine estimated his wealth at $2.6 billion and ranked him at No. 418 in the world. Lewis is a former guager and longtime South Texas driller who got into the Eagle Ford early.

Houstonian Daniel Harrison III was ranked No. 1356, with an Eagle Ford fortune worth $1.25 billion.

Last year the magazine calculated his net worth at $1.1 billion. The accompanying profile said Harrison in 2010 leased his 100,000-acre ranch to Shell Oil Co. for $1 billion in cash, plus royalties for future oil and gas production.

“The 2010 deal appears to be the biggest ever for a family with deep roots in Texas oil,” the Forbes profile said. “His grandfather, the first Dan Harrison, was a legendary Texas oilman, teaming up with J.S. Abercrombie to discover gushers like the Old Ocean field in Brazoria County. He built up an oil and ranching empire across Texas.”

Harrison appears to have done better than Shell – the company last fall said it was selling its Eagle Ford acreage and Forbes recently called the deal a “dud” for the company and a “lackluster exploration venture.”

Forbes said the 1,645 billionaires on the 2014 list had an average net worth of $4.7 billion, up from the 1,426 billionaires last year with an average net worth of $4.2 billion. Total net worth of this year’s list is $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion last year.

David Hendricks, Express-News archives and Katherine Feser of the Houston Chronicle contributed to this report.

Lewis Energy Group

Lewis Energy Group’s Rick Smart and other employees explain some of the heavy pumping equipment that is used in the hydraulic fracturing in the oil fields of south Texas during a tour of the newly-expanded Lewis Energy Operations Center in Encinal.