Houston-based Phoenix Natural Resources LLC, created by former top executives from Chief Oil & Gas LLC and Hilcorp Energy Co., has secured a $250 million equity commitment from Kayne Anderson Energy Funds to develop natural gas and oil assets in North America.

The Eagle Ford Shale is to be the initial acquisition target.

CEO Russell Parker had been Chief’s vice president of Engineering & Acquisitions for four years; he previously worked 12 years for Hilcorp, where he was, among other things, asset team leader for South Texas and the U.S. Northeast.

“Kayne has a unique and creative approach that fits well with the Phoenix team,” Parker said.

Also serving on the management team are CFO Jim Mooney, Senior Vice President (SVP) of Engineering Ray Ambrose, SVP of Operations Chad England and SVP of Geology Mark Hargis. Mooney previously was a portfolio manager for Millennium Management, where he oversaw a $500 million portfolio of global energy equities. Ambrose, England and Hargis previously were senior executives with Hilcorp.

Phoenix has a “proven management team” that should be able to “capitalize on the current market environment by deploying their technical and operational expertise,” said Kayne Managing Director David Habachy.

Phoenix is planning to “pursue acquisitions of oil and gas assets with scalable exploitation and development upside” throughout “select North American basins with an initial focus on the Eagle Ford.”

Chief at one time had a broad onshore portfolio but today its primary target is in northeastern Pennsylvania. Houston’s Hilcorp, one of the largest privately held exploration and production companies in the United States, is the largest oil producer in Louisiana. It also operates on the Texas Gulf Coast, in the Northeast and in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and North Slope.