Houston energy startup receives $500 million investment to launch

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Independence Resources Management LLC (IRM), a newly formed Houston startup, is receiving a $500 million investment from New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC. The capital will assist IRM in making an immediate impact in oil and gas exploration, focused on the Anadarko Basin in Texas, Oklahoma, as well as the Rockies.

The company’s target is unconventional shale plays with large amounts of hydrocarbons and low recovery factors.

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IRM’s co-founders are CEO Mike Van Horn, previously the senior vice president of Houston-based Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE: NFX) and COO John Nicholas, formerly the general manager of Spring-based Southern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN). The two have ties that go back to Enron Corp where they both previously worked.

“We are excited to have the support of Warburg Pincus, especially in the present commodity price environment, as we pursue the significant opportunity set we are seeing in our regions of interest,” stated Van Horn. “This investment will enable us to acquire a meaningful footprint in targeted plays and optimally delineate and develop that hydrocarbon resource over time.”


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James Levy, Warburg Pincus Managing Director, credited the IRM leadership with “deep geoscience, reservoir and operational expertise,” and he called them “ideally suited both to acquire and develop existing assets and to pursue new exploration concepts.”

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Warburg Pincus has invested heavily in Texas energy helping also co-found Woodlands-based Navitas Midstream Partners LLC, Houston-based Zenith Energy LP, and Dallas-based Venari Resources LLC.


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