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Newly Launched Native Exploration to Tap Opportunities in Midcontinent

With funding from private equity giant Kayne Anderson Energy Funds, Native Exploration Holdings LLC plans to prowl for opportunities in the Midcontinent, particularly Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City-based Native’s management team said Tuesday it would partner with Kayne Anderson with collective capital commitments totaling more than $140 million.

“Our investment in Native highlights our strategy of making commitments to proven management teams with excellent relationships and established track records, and we look forward to partnering alongside Native’s success,” Kayne Anderson management said.

Native was founded and is helmed by co-CEOs Lane Gibbs and Matt Whitaker.

Before forming the company, Gibbs and Whitaker worked at predecessor entity Native Oil & Gas LLC, where they were active primarily in Oklahoma’s myriad reservoirs, the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, i.e. SCOOP, and the Southern Trend of the Anadarko Basin, mostly in Canadian and Kingfisher counties, aka the STACK.

Management “believes this venture will create a great opportunity for Native to continue to exploit its strategy in the Midcontinent while delivering attractive rates of return,” said the co-CEOs.

Kayne Anderson Energy Funds has raised more than $6.3 billion of committed capital dedicated to energy private equity investments in primarily upstream and midstream oil and gas companies. Currently, the fund has about 25 active portfolio companies across North America. Among its U.S. upstream investments are Amistad Energy Partners LLCEnergy and Exploration Partners Inc., SCOOP-focused Casillas Petroleum Resource Partners LLC and Eagle Ford Shale-focused Phoenix Natural Resources LLC.

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