Global buyout firm TPG Capital said Wednesday it has launched Petro Harvester Oil & Gas LLC (Harvester) to purchase North American oil and natural gas properties.

In its first transaction Harvester agreed to buy some properties in the Mississippi Salt Basin from Comstock Resources Inc. for $75 million in cash. Comstock, based in Frisco, TX, said net production from the properties to be sold averaged 0.9 MMcf/d of gas and 1,138 b/d of oil in the first six months of this year. The sale is expected to close before the end of the year.

"The successful sale of this noncore asset allows us to further concentrate our resources and personnel on our core assets in the Haynesville and Bossier shales and our emerging position in the Eagle Ford Shale," stated Comstock CEO M. Jay Allison.

TPG said Harvester "will acquire substantial exploration and production (E&P) assets over the next several years," initially focusing on conventional E&P assets "where it believes there are opportunities to drive increased production through operational focus."

The Harvester team, based in Houston, is led by Chairman Gareth Roberts, the founder and former CEO of Denbury Resources Inc. TPG first invested in Denbury in 1995 and said it has had a close relationship with Roberts since then (see Daily GPI, March 24, 2004).

Harvester's leadership team includes Jim Sinclair, president of Operations, and Mark Roach, president of Acquisitions.

Harvester "will leverage our team's experience to acquire E&P assets that can flourish with greater operational focus," said Roberts. "TPG Capital is an ideal partner in this venture. They share our vision and bring significant financial resources, and also offer a wealth of expertise, having executed a broad array of transactions in the energy sector."

TPG Capital said it previously has invested in several energy companies including Alinta Energy, Belden & Blake Corp., Copano Energy, Energy Future Holdings, Texas Genco Holdings and Valerus Compression Services.

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