The species of the large, privately-held crude oil producer in the U.S. is rapidly becoming endangered, but they’re not extinct just yet.

Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources and Delaware Basin leader Mewbourne Oil lead the way as the top two private crude producers in the shale industry, but the next two are largely being bought up.

After that, there are several fast-growing producers that have surged into the top 10—including Surge Energy—according to the list of the top 100 private producers compiled by Enverus in an exclusive partnership with Oil and Gas Investor (OGI). 

Continental went private in late 2022 and now dominates the statistics for private producers. Meanwhile, the Permian’s Mewbourne Oil has continued to rapidly grow in recent years to take advantage of prime Permian acreage and healthy crude pricing.

But Diamondback Energy is acquiring the third-ranked crude producer, Endeavor Energy Resources, for $26 billion to turn Diamondback into the industry’s top pure-play producer in the Permian. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Likewise, Occidental Petroleum is scooping up CrownQuest Operating’s CrownRock for $12 billion to further solidify its massive Permian position.

Now ranked fifth and poised to jump higher is Grayson Mill Operating with 93,414 bbl/d, which is still well behind the 220,403 bbl/d of Mewbourne. Grayson Mill has focused on growing into a major Bakken Shale player.

The rest of the top 10 includes California’s Aera Energy, Permian-centric Birch Resources, Oklahoma’s GBK Corp. and its Kaiser-Francis Oil Co., the Midland Basin’s Surge Energy, and the Eagle Ford Shale’s Verdun Oil.

The rest of the top 20 count more producers from the Permian, but also the Uinta Basin’s XCL Resources and the Utica Shale’s Encino Energy. While the Utica is mostly gassy, Encino also is developing a liquids-rich oil play within the formation.

Top Privates 1-25
(Source: Enverus)


Industry Consolidation Reshapes List of Top 100 Private Producers in the Lower 48