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More Permian-Focused Money Flowing as Charger Gets Oaktree Commitment

Charger Shale Oil Co. LLC, formed only a few months ago, has secured up to $900 million from joint venture partner Oaktree Capital Management LP to expand its Permian Basin footprint in West Texas.

The Midland, TX-based limited liability exploration company, whose focus is the Delaware sub-basin, received an initial commitment of $600 million from Oaktree with a $300 million runway commitment.

The newly formed operator is led by CEO Joseph Magoto, previously president of Permian-focused Tall City Exploration LLC (TCE). In two separate transactions, TCE sold its assets in 2014 and 2015 (see Shale Daily, Dec. 1, 2015; Oct. 26, 2015; Nov. 24, 2014).

"Leveraging the experiences of the team from Tall City Exploration and our other notable staff members has helped jump start our company, allowing us to immediately acquire significant acreage and commence drilling this month," Magoto said. "We plan to run two rigs one month after the company’s official funding."

Charger to date secured more than 85,000 acres and plans to tack on more as it works on 100-plus horizontal locations across multiple horizons, he said.

The funding by Oaktree "represents an exciting step forward in our goal to build an enterprise in excess of 100,000 acres and to drill sufficient horizontal wells to prove up some 1,500 locations."

The Permian is without a peer in the U.S. onshore today, with millions flowing into the expansive basin that straddles West Texas and southern New Mexico. This week alone, Apache Corp. has announced a massive new play in the southern portion of the Delaware, while EOG Resources Inc. is paying $2.5 billion to buy Permian legend Yates Petroleum Corp. (see Shale Daily, Sept. 7a; Sept. 6). Callon Petroleum Co. late Tuesday struck a $327 million deal to acquire more land in the Permian's Midland sub-basin (see Shale Daily, Sept. 7b).

NGIhas taken a closer look at who's doing what, where and for how much in its newly released special report Permian: ‘The Mother Lode’ -- Texas Play Heats Up as Industry Looks to Get Back to Work.

Joining Magoto at Charger are former TCE executives who include Vice President (VP) of Geology Darryl James, chief petrophysicist Doug Scott, and John Stewart, geology computer specialist. Other executives are VP Land/Legal Chuck Lundeen, former head landman for Devon Energy Corp., and VP Drilling/Operations Craig Young, who previously ran EOG Resources Inc.'s Permian and Eagle Ford Shale drilling. Other staff include Chief Accounting Officer Bob Bintliff, VP Engineering Jeffrey Wilson and reserves engineer Tom Barr.

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