Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
The Road to Palm Springs
Learning the oil business from the ground up, Tim Marquez decided that there was a better way to run a company. So in 1992, he took his entire savings, $3,000, and decided to start his own company. The company’s first asset was a single oil well purchased from a company that was happy to have it taken off its hands.
Marquez discovered in due diligence that the property had not been operated to its potential and, in the first year, he and his team were able to double production to more than $200,000 per month. This was the deal that made Venoco a real company and gave it some momentum.
In 1998, Venoco appeared to catch a break when Enron, one of the hottest companies in America at the time, agreed to invest $60 million into the company for a 24% share. However, Enron needed to generate cash and Marquez was pushed out of the company.
This setback made Marquez more determined, and he launched Marquez Energy. As a result of Enron’s eventual unraveling, Marquez was able to regain 100% control of Venoco in 2004. Two years later, Venoco went public and has continued to grow with a well-count approaching 1,000, strong revenue and future prospects.