CALGARY -- Clay Riddell, billionaire businessman and co-owner of the Calgary Flames, has died.

The Flames confirmed his death in a statement on Sunday.

Riddell joined Flames ownership in 2003 after spending much of his life building oil and gas companies, including Paramount Resources.

The oil tycoon relinquished his role as CEO of the natural gas and oil exploration company in 2015, when his son, James, took over the role. Riddell founded the company and it has been operating in Canada since 1976.

Forbes pegged his fortune at US$1.2 billion, according to its 2018 ranking of the world's wealthiest people.

He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008 in part because of his creation of program that helped encourage students pursue studies in geology and his philanthropy, including a $10-million donation to his alma mater, the University of Manitoba, to create an endowment fund toward its faculty of environment, earth and resources in 2005.

"We mourn the passing of a great man of industry, sports, philanthropy and human decency along with our city, province and country. His legacies to all of us are immeasurable. To his family our gratitude, respect and deepest sympathy," said Flames vice chairman and CEO Ken King.