Devon Energy Company History Timeline


Devon was founded in 1971 by John Nichols and his son, J. Larry Nichols.


An example of this tendency to go against the grain came in 1981 when Devon acquired its first interest in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, an area that within a few years became one of the top natural gas providers in the lower 48 states.


After being on the sidelines for more than a year, in January 1984 Devon decided to create a master limited partnership in order to attract investors and return to pursuing acquisitions.


Devon spent 18 months studying MLPs already in operation, then in July 1985 launched Devon Resource Investors, trading on the Devon name while offering investors the benefits of an MLP. The company rolled in some $42 million in property, with an 85 to 15 percent mix of gas to oil.


Moreover, changes in tax laws in 1986 also made the investment less attractive.


Devon was founded in 1971 by John Nichols and his son, Larry. It became a public company in 1988, and expanded greatly through mergers and acquisitions.


In 1989, Devon returned to profitability.


In fiscal 1993 Devon posted record results in terms of production, revenues, profits, and shareholders' equity.


In March 1994 the company completed its next significant purchase, paying $66 million for Denver-based Alta Energy Corporation.

Alta Energy Acquired in 1994


According to Forbes, "In 1997 oil was going for as much as $26 a barrel and many producers borrowed money and bought each other out.


2000 – merged with Santa Fe Snyder in a $3.5 billion deal

Urged by his father, Larry Nichols then returned to Oklahoma City to help run Devon. It was not until 2000, when he was 85 years old, that he relinquished the chairmanship to his son.


2001 – acquisition of Anderson Exploration for $4.6 billion, making Devon the third-largest independent gas producer in Canada.


2002 – acquires Mitchell Energy for $3.5 billion, making Devon the largest operator in the Barnett Shale of Texas.


Nevertheless, interest payments for 2003 were an estimated $550 million.

2003 – $5.3 billion merger with Ocean Energy creates the largest United States-based independent oil and gas producer.


In 2004, Devon transferred its common stock listing to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DVN).

In 2004, Devon was one of several companies in the petroleum industry for which shareholder resolutions were introduced that would have required the companies to monitor their effects on climate change.


2006 – acquired Chief Oil and Gas Barnett Shale leasehold for $2.2 billion


In August 2008, co-founder John Nichols died.

In 2008, Devon announced plans to build a new 925-foot (282 m) tall, 1,900,000-square-foot (180,000 m2) corporate tower in downtown Oklahoma City.


In March 2010, the company sold assets in Brazil, Azerbaijan, and the Gulf of Mexico to BP for $7 billion.


In June 2014, the company sold assets to Linn Energy for $2.3 billion.

2014 – Devon Energy combines midstream assets with Crosstex Energy, Inc. to form EnLink Midstream, LLC.”


John Richels announces he will retire July 31, 2015.

In August 2015, Dave Hager was named president and chief executive officer of the company.


In February 2016, Devon announced plans to lay off 1,000 employees, including 700 in Oklahoma City, and cut its dividend as part of a cost-cutting effort due to low prices of its products.

The board of directors elects Richels as board vice chairman and announces its intent for Chief Operating Officer Dave Hager to become CEO upon Richels’ retirement and for Richels to become chairman upon Larry Nichols’ retirement from the board in 2016.


In 2017, the company sold its Lavaca County assets in the Eagle Ford.


In June 2019, the company sold its assets in Canada to Canadian Natural Resources for CAD $3.8 billion.


Pro forma for the Devon and WPX merger, the company’s fourth quarter 2020 daily production was approximately 300,000 barrels of oil, more than 125,000 barrels of natural gas liquids and about 920 million cubic feet of natural gas.

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Devon Energy History FAQs

How Old Is Devon Energy?

Devon Energy is 52 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Devon Energy?

J. Larry Nichols, John Nichols and Ken Chung founded Devon Energy.

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