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Another Vitruvian E&P, Again Backed by Quantum, to Target Eagle Ford

Quantum Energy Partners is committing another $450 million to another onshore explorer, this one focused on developing oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.

Vitruvian Exploration IV, set to begin operations before the end of the year, is led by Quantum veterans, including Executive Chairman Richard Lane, CEO John Thaeler and CFO Brian Rickmers.

Vitruvian IV is the third consecutive exploration and production (E&P) partnership between the private equity giant and the three executives. Lane, Thaeler and Rickmers also founded and led Quantum-backed Vitruvian Exploration II and Vitruvian Exploration III.

"Vitruvian is proud to extend its long-standing partnership with Quantum," said Lane. "When we set out to find a financial partner in 2012, we wanted a technically minded, long-term, strategic partner who could help us achieve our goals and maximize value. As evidenced by our past successes with Vitruvian II and Vitruvian III, we found exactly what we were looking for with Quantum."

To date, the E&P, based in The Woodlands north of Houston, has acquired or contracted to acquire 120,000 net acres. Vitruvian IV disclosed that it bought Sanchez Energy Corp.’s 70,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford’s Javelina field; the deal announced earlier this month was for $105 million.

Vitruvian II developed a core position in Oklahoma's stacked reservoirs, which ultimately was sold earlier this year to Gulfport Energy Corp. for $1.85 billion. Vitruvian III followed a similar strategy on a smaller scale in Oklahoma, and it sold its portfolio to an undisclosed buyer in April.

Lane and Thaeler formerly were senior executives at Southwestern Energy Co., while Rickmers had been chief commercial officer at Newfield Exploration Co.

“This team has consistently created significant value for all stakeholders through the application of technology and best operating practices in a safe and responsible manner,” said Quantum President Dheeraj Verman.

In May Quantum launched Rocky Mountain-focused Middle Fork Energy Partners LLC, co-founded by former Encana Corp. executives. The Denver-based operator, with initial capital commitments of $200 million-plus, is headed by CEO Christopher L. Valdez and Executive Chairman Jeffrey E. Wojahn.

Also in May Quantum paid $765 million to buy out Noble Energy Inc.'s midstream operations in the Appalachian Basin. Sentinel Peak Resources California LLC, also backed by Quantum, last October paid $592 million for Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s onshore California properties. Quantum portfolio companies working in the U.S. onshore include Jagged Peak Energy LLC, Midstream Energy Holdings LLC, Oryx Midstream Services LLC and Tug Hill Inc.

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