3i, HiltecVision back Nordic energy start-up

3i has teamed up with Norwegian venture capital firm HiltecVision to provide E35m of start-up capital to oil and gas exploration business Revus Energy.

UK private equity group 3i, one of Europe’s most active financial investors in the energy sector, is backing Norwegian oil and gas exploration and production start-up Revus Energy in a financing round worth £25m (E35m).


The deal, the first completed by 3i’s recently established oil and gas team in Norway, sees the firm link up with Norwegian venture capital investor HiltecVision.


Revus will acquire production and exploration assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), a strong growth area for oil and gas companies in Norway which is reaching maturity, according to 3i.


“We have been looking for the right company with whom to enter the Norwegian market for a long time and Revus fits all our criteria,” said Graeme Sword, director of 3i’s oil and gas team. “It has good growth potential, is in an exciting market and is led by a strong management team. We‘re committed to investing in Norway and have expanded our investment team to ensure that we are in the best position to do this.”


Revus Energy was founded in Stavanger in December 2002 by two former managers of Enterprise Oil Norge, Tim Sullivan and Harald Vabo. Andrew Armour, formerly exploration director at Enterprise Oil Plc, was appointed chairman of the company in January 2003.


According to a statement, Revus will invest in late stage producing assets in Norway that are too small to be material to their current owners, who are often global major companies. The process of rationalisation of asset portfolios that has already transformed oil and gas exploration in the UK Continental Shelf and the Gulf of Mexico is expected to be a growing feature of the Norwegian Continental Shelf as well.


3i is one of the leading investor in Europe in this sector with 30 oil and gas sector investments supporting exploration, production and service companies. Last October, the firm backed CH4 Energy, a start-up business which was set up to acquire marginal and dormant gas discovery assets in the North Sea. In May 2002, the Aberdeen-based team invested $40m in Petrofac, a US service provider to the oil and gas industry.


HitecVision invests in energy related companies primarily in the Scandinavian oil & gas sector. HitecVision is among the region’s largest investors with a specific focus on this industry. Last year HitecVision raised a $100m venture capital fund, Energivekst.