Founder of Brigham Exploration Company

Profession: Bobsledder



Ben M. "Bud" Brigham (born 1960) is an American billionaire oil and gas explorer, corporate executive, and investor.


In 1990, with an initial investment of $25,000, Brigham founded Brigham Exploration Company and was its President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman, in the business of searching for oil and natural gas. The company grew quickly until its public offering in 1997. In that year, it moved from Dallas to Austin.

Brigham was a leading player in the Williston Basin, Bakken, and Three Forks Shale oil and gas finds. He was the first operator to drill a long lateral high frac stage well, a key innovation largely responsible for the subsequent surge in fracking. Success with this was achieved on September 7, 2008, with the outcome that the "Bakken boom" in North Dakota quickly doubled in size. Brigham gained control of some 375,000 acres in the Williston Basin and drilled about a hundred similar long lateral high frac stage wells, producing an average of 2,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day each by December 2011, when his company was sold to Statoil ASA for $4.4 billion. After that, Brigham Exploration continued to achieve high growth in reserves, production, and income.

Brigham went on to found Anthem Ventures as a private company and Brigham Development in the field of real estate. With others, he also created Brigham Resources and Brigham Minerals, oil and gas investors, with a focus on horizontal drilling and fracking. His company Anthem Productions, in the movie business, has backed Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) and Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? (2014), based on a novel by Ayn Rand, and My All-American (2015), a "positive values" film about the life of Freddie Joe Steinmark.

Other companies established by Brigham include Atlas Permian Water and Atlas Sand, working on water and sand in the Permian Basin.


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