The bitter sibling rivalry for control over Knight Oil Tools may very well have its roots in Bryan Knight protecting his older brother, Mark, from bullies in the schoolyard. At least that’s the belief the younger Knight tells New York Magazine in a story detailing the collapse of what was once the world’s largest privately-owned oil equipment rental company, worth an estimated $800 million.
The story, entitled “Cain and Abel and Oil,” details the elaborate conspiracy in Lafayette by Mark Knight to frame his brother using cocaine, painkillers, a henchman and two corrupt cops. He pleaded guilty in 2018 to public bribery and corrupt influencing, and was sentenced in February to a year in the parish jail, with the caveat that he was eligible for the alternative sentencing program. The magazine writes the move allowed him to spend one day in jail, then be sent home wearing an ankle monitor.
Knight Oil Tools has since merged with IronGate Energy Services to form Knight Energy Services, and is based in Houston. In April, SLEMCO announced on its Facebook page it had purchased the company’s former headquarters near the Lafayette Airport “for just pennies on the dollar.”
The magazine touts the tale as a “brotherly parable” about “how ruthless that rivalry can become among the second-generation inheritors of great wealth, no longer striving to build an empire but only to hold the one they were born into.” As an example, it describes Mark Knight’s “wild spending spree” after the 2002 death of his father, Knight Oil Tools founder Eddy Knight.