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Chisholm Energy Lassos Permian Acreage in New Mexico’s Northern Delaware

Private equity-backed Chisholm Energy Holdings LLC, managed by a roster of former Range Resources Corp. executives, has snapped up its first acquisition, undeveloped acreage in New Mexico, within the Permian Basin's Delaware formation.

The Fort Worth, TX-based operator, formed last year by Warburg Pincus, bought properties in Eddy and Lea counties from a private seller. The acreage includes targets within the Bone Spring and Wolfcamp formations.

Financial details were not disclosed. Chisholm has a $500 million equity line from Warburg.

"We are excited to be building a new enterprise focused on the Delaware Basin of New Mexico, where we continue to see many untapped and compelling opportunities," said CEO Mark Whitley, who since 2014 had served as a Warburg adviser. Before joining Warburg, Whitley was senior vice president of Range's southwest division, where he helped assemble the operator's 100,000-net acre position in the Barnett Shale and subsequently helped develop the Marcellus Shale holdings.

Chisholm's strategy initially is to capture northern Delaware acreage and eventually to pursue "unconventional resource opportunities where it can leverage its horizontal drilling and completions expertise."

Besides Whitley, Chisholm's executive team is rich in U.S. onshore experience, and most have a link to Range Resources, which also is headquartered in Fort Worth.

COO Mike Middlebrook joined Range in 1997 where he held several engineering and management positions, the last as vice president of the northern Marcellus, Permian and Midcontinent divisions. Martin Emery, senior vice president of geosciences, was Range's vice president of geology for the Permian, northern Marcellus, Midcontinent and southwest divisions from 2006-2016 and was chief geologist from 2003-2006.

Chisholm's Andrew Tullis, vice president (VP) of engineering, joined Range in 2004 as a district engineer working in the Delaware sub-basin and in East Texas, later transitioning to exploratory engineer working on unconventional plays, where he was involved in the initial exploration of the Marcellus. Tullis last served as Range's director of operations for the northern Marcellus, Permian and Midcontinent divisions. Operations VP Brad Grandstaff went to work at Range in 2008 and last served as director of drilling operations of the northern Marcellus, Permian and Midcontinent divisions.

Meanwhile, CFO Aaron Gaydosik previously was financial chief at Gulfport Energy Corp. from August 2014 until last January. VP Scott Herstein, who runs Chisholm's business development, previously was land manager for U.S. Energy Development Corp. and from 2013 to 2015, he served as VP of business development for Exco Resources Inc.

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