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Houston Energy Company Gives $100,000 Bonuses to Each of Its 1,381 Employees As the company aims to double in size every five years, it offers team members increasingly lofty incentives.

By Geoff Weiss

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hilcorp Energy, a privately-held oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Houston, just bestowed all 1,381 of its employees with a bonafide Christmas miracle.

Twenty-six-year-old Hilcorp, which has appeared on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work list for three years running, has handed out $100,000 bonuses to each of its staffers, which amounts to a company-wide payout of more than $138 million.

"It's just a true gift," Hilcorp's receptionist, Amanda Thompson, told Fox 26 Houston, "and I think myself, along with everyone, is not going to give any less than 100 percent each day."

If this sounds like an unfathomable figure, it's not the first time that Hilcorp has broken the bank to give back. In 2010, after aiming to double the size of the company over the span of five years, Hilcorp offered employees their choice of either a $50,000 car or a $35,000 cash check. This year's bonus, while significantly loftier, aims to signify that the company has doubled in size once again.

Related: Best Boss Ever Rewards Employees With $200,000 Bonuses After Buyout

And though oil prices are in the tanks, Hilcorp is still apparently able to shell out in a major way. The company boasted operating revenues of $223 million in 2011, its most recently reported figure.

Thompson said employees are using the bonus to retire early, remodel their homes, take vacations, pay for their children's college tuitions or simply saving it for a rainy day.

"It was a surreal day. It was a dream come true," she said. "And we all did it together."

Hilcorp's founder, chairman, and CEO is Jeffery Hildebrand, who has an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion.

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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