Lime Rock Partners Announces New Investments in Caledus Limited and U.S. Exploration Holdings LLC


WESTPORT, Conn., February 6, 2004 – Lime Rock Partners today announced two new investments into private energy companies: Caledus Limited, an Aberdeen, Scotland based oil and gas service company, and U.S. Exploration Holdings, LLC, a Billings, Montana based independent energy company engaged in oil and gas development, production, and property acquisitions in the Rocky Mountains.

Caledus was formed in April 2003 by Paul Howlett to develop and provide innovative and value adding drilling and completions products and services. Its primary focus is the development of Slimwell™, a novel technique for well construction designed to slim the well down, but still maintain the desired size of pipe at the zone of interest, and consequently to reduce the cost of well construction by more than 50%. “Oilfield technology products that reduce the cost of drilling and production have been a highly successful area for Lime Rock in the past, and they remain a core focus for us.” said Lawrence Ross, Managing Director and Head of Lime Rock’s Aberdeen office, as well as a director of Caledus. “We are excited about the prospects for Slimwell™ and look forward to working with Caledus to commercialize the technology.”

Lime Rock also announced that it has invested $16.5 million in U.S. Exploration Holdings, LLC, a Billings, Montana company formed by Steven D. Durrett, the former Chief Executive Officer of Ballard Petroleum. “Steve Durrett is a proven value creator in the natural gas industry and we are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with him,” said Jonathan C. Farber, Managing Director of Lime Rock Partners and a director of U.S. Exploration Holdings. “We are confident that Steve and his team will serve Lime Rock’s investors well.”

Since closing on $320 million for its second energy-focused private equity fund in October 2002, Lime Rock has invested approximately $100 million into 8 companies. Other investments include Canadian mud motor manufacturer NQL Drilling Tools, Inc., Rocky Mountain drilling contractor Patriot Drilling, and UWG Group Limited, a U.K.-based oil service company.

About Lime Rock Partners:
Lime Rock Partners, based in Westport, Connecticut, is a private equity firm with over $420 million under management dedicated to investing in energy companies with high growth potential. With offices in the major energy centers of North America and Western Europe, Lime Rock targets growth equity investments in companies involved in oil field services, oil field technology, midstream services, and exploration and production. For more information please visit


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