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Carlyle, EOG Resources Form $400M Drilling Partnership in Oklahoma

The Carlyle Group LP, a global private equity firm, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement to form a joint venture (JV) with EOG Resources Inc., and will invest up to $400 million to help the company develop its oil and natural gas assets in Oklahoma.

Carlyle said that as part of the JV, its Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund II LP will fund a development program in Ellis County over four years. "After certain performance hurdles are achieved in the program, Carlyle's working interests will largely revert to EOG," the firm said.

Additional details of the JV were not disclosed, and Houston-based EOG did not release a statement.

Ellis County is prospective to the Cleveland and Tonkawa formations in the Anadarko Basin.

According to data from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which regulates oil and gas activities in the state, natural gas production in Ellis County totaled approximately 48 Bcf in 2012, the most recent year where figures were available. Meanwhile, crude oil and condensate production totaled more than 4.7 million bbl.

The OCC's most recent Intent to Drill file, which lists activity over the past seven days, shows three operators plan to drill a total of seven wells targeting the Cleveland and Tonkawa formations. Nichols Operating LLC plans to drill one Cleveland well, while Mid-Con Energy Operating LLC is planning two Cleveland wells and Fourpoint Energy LLC is planning four in the Tonkawa.

Earlier this month, EOG reported that four wells in the Permian Basin had record-breaking production, which helped the company beat its production guidance and returned it to profitability.

At the end of the first quarter, Carlyle managed $162 billion worth of assets under 287 investment vehicles. Its two energy sector funds -- Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund LP and Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund II LP -- have combined assets of approximately $4 billion.

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