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NGP Lays Down More Equity to Create U.S. Onshore Oilfield Services Operator

Private equity from Natural Gas Partners (NGP) is going into yet another new U.S. onshore firm, the latest an oilfield services operator led by a former top executive for Weatherford International.

Cretic Energy Services LLC, which is to be headquartered near Houston in Montgomery County, serves onshore producers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Its specialty is large-diameter, extended-reach, pad-optimized coiled tubing services.

No financial details were disclosed.

"At Cretic, we see proof every day that combining our cutting-edge coiled tubing units with our team of experienced operators and technical staff is resulting in faster, safer, more efficient completions for our customers," said CEO Joe Michetti and CFO Brian Williams, who co-founded the company.

In 2004, Michetti created and led Infinistar Energy Services, which was acquired by Weatherford International in 2009. From 2009 to 2013, Michetti was the global coiled tubing product line manager for Weatherford, where he was responsible for managing a fleet of 35 units. Prior to forming Cretic, Williams spent most of his career leading oilfield services investment banking teams, most recently with Tristone Capital and Macquarie, and previously with Simmons & Co.

Cretic was created to address a growing market for well completion and intervention services in longer horizontal wells drilled from pad locations, which management said aren't adequately serviced with the industry's current fleet. Cretic has executed completion and production enhancement projects for customers in South and East Texas, in the Permian Basin and in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.

Catapult Managing Partner Greg Laake said the "knowledge, relationships and vision" that Michetti and Williams possess "are second-to-none" in the coiled tubing business. "The Cretic service offering is ideally suited to service the growing trend of longer-lateral horizontal oil and gas wells in North America."

Catapult was formed by NGP in 2013 to establish and invest $25 million or more in startup oilfield services companies. The Houston firm previously invested in Covenant Testing Technologies LLC in May 2013.

"Catapult continues to be a great vehicle for NGP to deploy growth capital to the oilfield services sector, while also providing back-office services to expedite the growth of young companies," said NGP Managing Partner Tony Weber.

NGP over the past year has been going to town with equity commitments to onshore operators in the United States.

NGP-backed Memorial Resource Development Corp. on Friday is set to launch on Nasdaq as a publicly traded exploration and production company (see Shale Daily, June 9). The onshore operator, expects to raise around $700 million from the offering.

NGP also made a $300 million investment in Appalachia operator Rice Energy Inc. before its public launch last year (see Shale Daily, Dec. 17, 2013). In addition, Atlas Pipeline Partners LP last year paid $1 billion to buy NGP-financed Teak Midstream LLC, an Eagle Ford Shale services provider (see Shale Daily, April 18, 2013).

Portfolio companies still held by NGP include Bluestone Natural Resources, an acquisition-focused company in Texas; and midstream operator Crimson Pipeline LP and affiliate Crimson Gulf LLC. Petrus Resources Ltd., another portfolio company, is active in property exploitation, strategic acquisitions and risk-managed exploration in Western Canada.

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