Western Texas Gold

Retirement is a completely and total myth for anyone who loves business, no matter how big their pile of cash, they were never pining away, arbitrarily waiting for retirement. Those that love the art of deal making, and the panoply of capitalistic options under the auspices of markets, will never retire. They might take a little time off, but those that enjoy this are almost disproportionately the types that will likely leave this world while sitting at their desk.

There is hardly a person that can be found who thought that Mark Papa actually retired in 2013. He might easily be able to financially retire, but within a very short period of time, the newness of such an idea will wear off, and staring at CNBC all day, as collated with golf outings, will fast lose its veneer. That said, it is of little surprise that Mark Papa is back.

He was one of the major players in what is now referred to as the “Great American Oil Boom.” He made billions for Enron shareholders, and certainly earned a large sum for himself. When citing reasons why he has chosen to return to the oil markets, at 70 years old, he does state that the price of a barrel of oil was solely quite compelling. Had it stayed about $100, he says he would have stayed retired, but sitting at home, watching the price of oil drop to far below that mark, he could no longer remain on the sidelines.

The fact remains that the oil industry is very much in his blood, and while he still enjoys good health, it seemed counterproductive to not get back in. As oil collapsed, Mr. Papa found his way to Riverstone, a firm he would help navigate the treacherous waters of a flailing oil marketplace, and help to cherry-pick the best deals out there.

Riverstone, founded by David Leuschen and Pierre Lapeyre helped Papa start a company called “Silver Run Acquisition,” and Mark Papa knew exactly what he was going to do with this opportunity. The Permian Basin, a basin in the Western part of Texas, would be exactly where he would focus his attention. This basin has been spoken of quite regularly in terms akin to that of how the United States can liberate itself from the grip of foreign oil; it holds that much promise. Mr. Papa counts himself a little late to this basin party, but he did succeed in finding acquisition options, and he bought Centennial Corp. as one of his initial moves.

A fortuitous turn-of-events for the world oil consumption needs is that we now have a President in the United States that will help provide the world with as much U.S. oil as we can drill out of the ground here. Mr. Papa appears to be on to something big once again, and his timing could not be better.

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