Expert Petroleum Announces Growth Capital Investment from Lime Rock Partners11/9/2009
Targu Mures, Romania, November 9, 2009 – Expert Petroleum SRL, a Romania-based oil and gas company focused on the rehabilitation of mature oil and gas fields, today announces that Lime Rock Partners, a global energy-focused private equity firm, has agreed to invest $25 million in the company. Part of the Jordan-based NT&S Energy group, Expert has acquired eight mature field licenses in Romania and is applying leading-edge field redevelopment and rehabilitation technology to those licenses to restart oil and gas production. The $25 million staged equity investment from Lime Rock Partners will fund further appraisal, workover, and drilling activities on Expert’s assets. The Lime Rock and Expert teams continue to work together to identify other investment opportunities, including accelerating development of Expert’s current licenses, acquiring new production licenses, and forming innovative partnerships with leading regional oil and gas producers to jointly rehabilitate and redevelop mature oil and gas fields.
David Martinon, Founding Partner and Managing Director of Expert, said, “This is a very important day in the history of our company. For the last five years, we have carefully assembled and conducted in-depth technical analysis and appraisal activities on our oil and gas properties in Romania, fields that are well suited to our strengths in mature asset rehabilitation. The capital from Lime Rock will fund our future development costs. More importantly, the partnership with the Lime Rock team has already begun to help us form and implement our broader strategic vision to make Expert one of the leading independent oil and gas companies focused on mature asset rehabilitation and redevelopment.”
Expert was founded by Mr. Martinon and Michel Louboutin, Founding Partner and General Manager of the company, who built a highly skilled management team that complemented their experience in mature asset rehabilitation as managers at Schlumberger. The team’s experience includes international and Romanian project management at ConocoPhillips, Weatherford, Petrom, Romgaz, and other companies. Expert is currently developing eight licenses focused on the Carpathian Basin, Transylvanian Basin, and Moesian Platform. Almost all of Expert’s projects are of fields that had previously produced oil or gas. The company is combining the latest technology, such as 3D seismic, to develop new reservoir and commercial models and solid operational skills to allow for successful redevelopment of its current licenses and increased domestic production of oil and gas in Romania. Expert is also in discussions with independent oil and gas producers, national oil companies, and others for additional joint venture projects and field license acquisitions.
Lime Rock manages $3.9 billion of capital for investment in the energy industry. From offices in Dubai, UAE; Houston, Texas; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Westport, Connecticut, the Lime Rock Partners team invests growth capital in exploration and production, energy service, and oil service technology companies worldwide. Lime Rock’s initial $25 million commitment to Expert will be phased in over the next two years as needed, and Lime Rock will potentially invest more in the company depending on Expert’s ability to capture opportunities to accelerate its value creation and growth. The Lime Rock Partners investment in Expert is the firm’s sixtieth investment in a global energy company since its formation and the first to be executed from the firm’s Dubai office, which is led by longstanding Lime Rock veterans Saad Bargach and Rob Willings.
Mr. Bargach, a Managing Director of Lime Rock Partners, noted, “For our entire history, Lime Rock has invested with great entrepreneurs targeting smaller and mature oil and gas fields. David and Michel are the latest chapter in this strategy. But they have assembled more than just an exciting asset base in Romania. They have assembled a team bringing tremendous technical skills to fields with considerable potential left. And they have established a long-term growth strategy to establish a nimble but substantial independent producer. We at Lime Rock are thrilled to partner with Expert to deploy this initial capital and potentially significantly more.”
Lime Rock Partners was represented in the transaction by Vinson & Elkins LLP out of its Dubai office and Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen. Expert Petroleum was advised by The Sanad Law Group in Jordan and Varinia Radu in Romania.
About Expert Petroleum
With regional offices in Romania for Central and Eastern Europe and in Jordan for the Middle East and North Africa, Expert Petroleum is an innovative upstream oil and gas company that redevelops and rehabilitates mature oil and gas fields through direct license ownership or in partnership with companies in need of personnel, expertise, or capital. The Expert team combines extensive experience in Romania with international experience at some of the most successful field redevelopment and rehabilitation projects in Venezuela, Norway, and elsewhere. Expert was founded as part of the NT&S Energy, a holding company of a group of specialized international oil and gas companies with operations in the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and North America. For more information, please see www.expertpetroleum.com.
About Lime Rock Partners
Established in 1998, Lime Rock manages $3.9 billion of private capital for investment in the energy industry through Lime Rock Partners, investors of growth capital in energy companies worldwide, and Lime Rock Resources, acquirers and operators of oil and gas properties in the United States. With $3.0 billion under management, Lime Rock Partners is a creative, value-adding, and long-term investor of growth capital in exploration and production, energy service, and oil service technology companies worldwide. From four locations worldwide, the Lime Rock Partners team brings together a global network of relationships, deep interdisciplinary expertise in finance and energy company operations, and a strong track record of value creation. For more information, please visit www.lrpartners.com.