The world’s oil billionaires became richer in the first quarter of 2021, adding a combined net worth of $51 billion to their fortunes as oil prices rallied and investor confidence in excessively punished oil stocks returned.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest people, US oil tycoon Harold Hamm saw his net worth jump by $3.3 billion year to date to stand at $8.4 billion as of the first week of April.
Shares in Continental Resources that Hamm had founded also jumped by 59 per cent year to date.
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani with interests in ports, commodities, and power generation saw his net worth surge by $23.3 billion to $57.1 billion in the first quarter. This was the largest increase in a billionaire’s wealth so far this year anywhere in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In total, the energy billionaires globally saw their combined net worth jump by around 10 per cent in the first quarter, the highest growth in wealth of any group of billionaires in the index compiled by Bloomberg.
Investors have warmed up in recent months to the energy sector, which bore the brunt of last year’s shock of crashing oil prices and oil demand. The energy sector has been the top performer in the S&P 500 index year to date.
Some exchange-traded funds (EFTs) tracking oil prices have surged since the start of 2021 as investors turned their attention to industries expected to benefit the most from the economic recovery. Energy is one of those, and analysts still see upsides for energy stocks and ETFs.
Some banks, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, said in February that they expected a new supercycle in oil, with economies rebounding from last year’s pandemic shock.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), however, in its own projection, stated that it does not see a supercycle in oil on the horizon amid plentiful supply and a large global spare capacity.