Samson Investment Company
Samson Investment Company has gone through some transformations and changes. It is now known as Samson Resources since a buyout. The company was originally started by Charles Schusterman in the early 1970s and was the biggest privately-owned U.S. business in the gas and oil industry. It has headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and offices in other locations as well, including Texas and Colorado in the U.S. At one point, there were more than 1,200 employees worldwide, and they focused equally on oil, natural gas, and other liquids.
Samson Investment Company was created in 1971 to handle the Amerada Hess properties located in California, which they had recently purchased. The Amerada Hess included about 35 leases of oil producing sites. This created immediate success for Samson Investment, who enjoyed a significant performance improvement and allowed it to begin making additional drilling program acquisitions. In 1987 they acquired their first investment outside the United States, in Alberta, Canada, with Western Canada Oil and Gas Basin.
They continued to make acquisitions and increased employees. They enjoyed increased growth during the 1980s. Over the next ten years, they continued to increase their portfolio with investments in Russia and Venezuela during the 1990s. Some major changes in management were made and an important investor, KKR, partnered with them in the 2000s. They changed their company name to Samson Resources. At one point they were a major local company operating in the U.S. Southwest, Colorado and North Dakota.
Samson Resources has seen some financial struggles over the last several years. KKR invested heavily in them; however, they decided to pull their $2 billion out of the company. They cited a planned restructuring as a reason, stating that they would lose their investment if such an action were to take place. At the same time, crude oil prices plummeted, leaving stocks at a fraction of what they used to be worth.
In 2015 they announced that they were to lay off about one-third of their workers and ceased drilling operations. Samson Resources continues to make changes to its portfolio. They recently announced a decision to sell its East Texas and North Louisiana assets to Rockcliff Energy for $525 million. The company spokesperson said that they have little time to work with before making such a decision.
Samson announced they have emerged from bankruptcy. They recently put new leadership in place and have engaged consultant services to review their strategy moving forward. They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015. In 2017 officials confirmed the layoff of additional employees, including 60 from their Tulsa headquarter offices. They appointed a new board of directors and are working to review its asset portfolio and development plan. The company is planning to re-emerge with a strong plan for their investors and stakeholders in an attempt to pick up where they left off before their bankruptcy. The company stock has been on a steady decline.
Accidents and Incidents
- In 2011 a fatal accident occurred at a Samson owned oil will in Converse County, Wyoming. An explosion and fire happened at an oil storage tank at the Black Island Federal #44-18X well location. Three people died in the accident, all contract workers. The three were welding company employees working on the well to bring it back into production.
- In 2015 Samson found that there was a reduced volume of water coming to the facility in North Dakota than there should have been. This prompted them to search for a potential leak, which was found. According to reports, the pipeline leaked at least 4,260 barrels of salty water, equivalent to 178,920 gallons. The water was released about 7 miles northwest of Crosby, North Dakota, killing vegetation and soybean crops. Reports indicate that the leak must have gone unnoticed for some time.
- In 2014 a well owned by Samson Resources was the source of an oil and water leak. The well, located in Divide County in North Dakota, reportedly leaked about 90 barrels of brine and 65 barrels of oil. The spill was the result of a faulty valve on a saltwater disposal. The spill reached a farm located nearby. Company employees cleaned the site, and the state inspector was working with Samson on a remediation plan.