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#15. Clay Riddell
Major holdings: Paramount Resources, Trilogy Energy Group, Tourmaline Oil
Riddell trained as a geologist at the University of Manitoba and headed to Alberta after graduation. There, he founded Paramount Resources, in 1978, and focused on an overlooked part of the energy market: low-productivity natural gas wells. It wasn’t until the early ’90s that the natural gas market in Alberta became hot, vindicating his strategy. Paramount now deals with both oil and gas, and has since spun off assets into separate companies, such as heavy-oil player Cavalier Energy (in 2011). Riddell has humbly admitted part of the reason for breaking up his empire is that he’s not equipped to manage a conglomerate.