New North Sea entrant Wellesley Petroleum will focus on exploration activity in the Norwegian North Sea through licensing rounds, farm-ins and acquisitions.
The new entrant has been launched by a diverse and experienced management team, including former Agora and Cairn Energy Norwegian operations manager Callum Smyth, and former RIT Capital Partners private equity specialist Olivier Hopkes.
International law firm Pinsent Masons advised Blue Water Energy (BWE), the energy-focused private equity house, on the syndicated $250 million (£163 million) investment into the new North Sea oil and gas explorer.
Last year, Pinsent Masons advised Blue Water Energy on the $500 million (£325 million) investment and launch of UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) explorer, Siccar Point.
This latest investment brings the aggregate commitment of BWE and its partners including GIC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, to three quarters of a billion dollars ($750,000,000) in less than six months.
A team from Pinsent Masons was led by energy-focused corporate partner Barry McCaig and senior associate Brian Thumath.
Barry McCaig said: “The oil and gas industry is facing an uncertain time, however private equity investment of this scale demonstrates that there is still significant opportunity for those investors willing to take a long term view. The message is clear that the North Sea remains very-much open for business and private equity has a critical role to play in that.
“Blue Water Energy and its partners have made a major commitment to back both Norwegian North Sea and UKCS assets in the last six months and we expect that Wellesley will be active in the market in the coming months as they look to acquire Norwegian acreage. Given the investor backing from BWE and the strength of the management team, Wellesley will be well placed to take advantage of opportunities, even in this challenging market.”