Hunt Energy Incubator-Created Company Sells for $75M

Motive Drilling Technologies developed ways to save money and drill more accurately, marking the first success for Hunt Consolidated's incubator.


Identifying a weakness in well drilling technology, Hunt Energy Enterprises created a business venture to focus on tapping into unconventional oil and natural gas deposits.

The move paid off.

That company, Motive Drilling Technologies, was sold last month for $75 million to Tulsa, Oklahoma-based oilfield services operator Helmerich and Payne Inc., marking the first success for Hunt Energy Enterprises’ incubator program.

The deal could pay an additional $25 million, based on performance.

“Improving the directional drilling process has been an industry focus for some time, given the value proposition of drilling wells more efficiently and with greater accuracy, resulting in a better quality wellbore,” H&P CEO John Lindsay told NGI’s Shale Daily. “We believe Motive’s directional drilling technology to be leading edge and high-potential for the industry.” 

“We believe Motive’s directional drilling technology to be leading edge and high-potential for the industry.”
John Lindsay

Hunt Consolidated Inc. launched Hunt Energy Enterprises in 2009 as an incubator to take ideas from within Hunt’s businesses, as well as those pitched from outside the company, and further their potential. 

“The challenge with that has been everybody has a day job,” Hunter Hunt, co-CEO of Hunt Consolidated, told The Dallas Business Journal. “It’s been nobody’s direct responsibility to say, ‘Here’s an idea that’s being pitched to us, what do we think?’ Or, ‘Here’s an idea. How do we commercialize it?’”

Motive CEO Todd Benson and Hunt Energy Enterprises President Victor Liu collaborated to create Motive, and received outside funding for it in 2015. 

Motive’s proprietary Bit Guidance System is considered an industry leader to assist the directional drilling process. The system uses an algorithm to determine the economic impact of drilling decisions. This process promotes more efficient drilling, accurate placement, and an increase in hydrocarbon production.

Motive’s technology “has been proven on more than 200 horizontal wells to date,” Benson told NGI’s Shale Daily. “Our team is excited about this transaction and view H&P as an ideal partner for the continued growth in adoption of our technology, particularly as we look to advance efficiencies, quality, and safety through automation.

Motive will remain based in Dallas. 

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