Private equity firm Warburg Pincus invests in oil and gas start-up

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has agreed to invest up to $500 million in start-up oil and gas exploration and production company Independence Resources Management (IRM).

Houston-based IRM intends to target onshore oil and gas acquisition and play extension opportunities in known producing basins in the Mid-Continent and Rockies regions of the United States, with an initial focus on the Anadarko Basin. The company says it will focus on plays with large amounts of hydrocarbons in place and low recovery factors, where it can apply advanced drilling and completion techniques.

Mike Van Horn, formerly vice president of geoscience at Newfield Exploration, serves as CEO of IRM. The founding team members, who had previously worked together at Enron Oil & Gas, include John Nicholas, COO, who was formerly general manager for the Appalachia Division at Southwestern Energy; Rod Steward, chief corporate officer, who previously served as manager of exploitation, capital planning and analysis for Sheridan Production Partners; and Charles Minero, PhD, chief geosciences officer, who previously was a senior staff geologist at Shell Oil Company.

"We are excited to have the support of Warburg Pincus, especially in the present commodity price environment, as we pursue the significant opportunity set we are seeing in our regions of interest,” said Van Horn.

James Levy, managing director at Warburg Pincus said, "Mike and the IRM leadership team have deep geoscience, reservoir and operational expertise and are ideally suited both to acquire and develop existing assets and to pursue new exploration concepts."

Equity for the investment will come from Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI LP and Warburg Pincus Energy LP.


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