Corey Riley, 38
President, Riley Exploration Group Inc., Blanchard, Oklahoma
Has helped raise more than $500 million in private equity funds within Riley portfolio companies since co-founding Riley Exploration in 2007. Served as CFO of Riley Exploration Group from its inception in 2012 until mid-2015, acquiring a majority equity interest in Cinco Resources.
Entrée to the industry: Entered oil and gas as a business operations manager with Tuleta Energy Partners; sold the company to a publicly traded energy company, yielding a 4:1 ROI for shareholders.
True grit: Consistently inspired by Riley Exploration’s persevering and cohesive management team. “Historically, there is an overture of grit and determination that is synonymous with our industry. I see this play out with our team every day.”
Proudest achievement: Motivated by Tuleta’s 2004 acquisition of the OSR Halliday Field in Madison, Texas, from Forest Oil. Transaction laid the foundation for Riley Exploration. “For me, every aspect was a new and exciting experience as I was cutting my teeth in the industry.”
Personal and professional: Works positively and effectively alongside father, brother and some of his closest friends despite disagreements over the years. “There have been many great family and friends moments that have taught me that relationships can come first, and you can still be successful in business.”
Pioneering pattern: Always aspired to start a company; has been “fortunate enough to have achieved this more than once and am currently on the third iteration of Riley Exploration. Along with good fortune, I believe a critical factor has been having an entrepreneurial spirit that is supported by a strong technical team.”
Now and then: Short-term goals include leading the company’s focus around Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale assets and becoming the lowest cost producer possible. Long term, plans to “introduce and successfully lead Riley Exploration to become a publicly traded company.”