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Billionaires Circle Distressed Assets in U.S. Oil and Gas Patch

  • ‘Grave dancer’ Sam Zell sees opportunities in oil industry
  • Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones eyes Louisiana gas assets
Sam Zell

Sam Zell

Photographer: Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg

Billionaires are circling the distressed U.S. oil and gas patch, looking to pick up assets on the cheap at a time when the state of the industry is scaring off other investors.

Sam Zell has teamed up with Tom Barrack Jr. to buy oil assets in California, Colorado and Texas at fire-sale prices from companies trying to get ahead of a coming credit crunch. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his Comstock Resources Inc. is in talks to acquire natural gas assets in Louisiana from struggling Chesapeake Energy Corp.