US oil giant
George Mitchell died Friday morning at his home in Galveston,
Texas, a family spokesperson said. He was 94.
Mitchell was a pioneer in the technology of hydraulic fracturing
and horizontal drilling, which he used to tap oil and gas in
the Barnett Shale play of North Texas in the 1980s and 1990s.
The process became the foundation for the modern shale
Mitchell Energy & Development, the company he built and
eventually sold for $3.1 billion, was responsible for more than
200 oil and 350 natural gas discoveries.
In his career, Mitchell participated in drilling some 8,000
wells, including more than 1,000 wildcats.
The full statement from his family can be read below.
GALVESTON, Texas -- We are deeply saddened to announce
that George Phydias Mitchell passed away today. He died of
natural causes in Galveston surrounded by his family.
His story was quintessentially American.
George P. Mitchell was raised as a child of meager means
who, throughout his life, believed in giving back to the
community that made his success possible and lending a hand to
the less fortunate struggling to reach their
He married Cynthia Woods Mitchell, and, together, they
raised 10 children and collaborated on myriad projectsall dedicated to
making the world a more hospitable and sustainable place.
Cynthia passed away in 2009.
He will be fondly remembered for flying in the face of
conventionfocusing on what could be, with
boundless determinationmany times fighting through waves
of skepticism and opposition to achieve his vision.
Whether it was graduating first in his class at Texas
A&M University, developing the first master-planned
community, pioneering the technology that unleashed the shale
gas boom, working to create a more sustainable planet,
restoring the historic area of Galveston, or just fishing with
his family, he had the right mix of vision, optimism, and
tenacity, and a love for his fellow man.
We are and will forever be grateful for the gift of this
remarkable life. Theres no doubt that he helped make this
world a better place.
For more information, please visit the Cynthia and
George Mitchell Foundation website at www.cgmf.org.