First Reserve in $500m Asian oil deal

The all-equity investment gives the US-based firm a 99% stake in Singapore-based KrisEnergy. The company will focus on Southeast Asian oil and gas assets.

Energy-focused private equity firm First Reserve Corporation has invested $500 million for a 99 percent stake in KrisEnergy, a newly-established oil and gas company.

Based in Singapore, KrisEnergy aims to build a portfolio of exploration, development and production assets across Southeast Asia. KrisEnergy’s founders and key management hold the remaining 1 percent stake in the company. 

Southeast Asia has a huge deal flow in terms of production to exploration assets.

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“Southeast Asia has a huge deal flow in terms of production to exploration assets. It is a part of the world that consumes way more oil and gas than it produces, in fact, the region is a net importer of oil and gas. We believe that there is a large amount of undiscovered resources here,” Richard Lorentz, a KrisEnergy business development director, said in an interview. 

Lorentz co-founded the business with Keith Cameron and Chris Gibson-Robinson. The trio had previously established exploration and production company Pearl Energy, which last year was sold to Abu Dhabi-backed investment fund Mubadala.

The KrisEnergy investment was made out of First Reserve’s Fund XII, which closed on $9 billion in April. At the time, managing director Cathleen Ellsworth told PEO that First Reserve anticipated devoting more of the fund toward oil producing assets than toward the renewable sector, as it adjusted its strategy slightly to benefit from drops in commodity prices.

First Reserve’s previous investments in Southeast Asia include mining services company Connect Resources Services and coal mining company Southern Cross Coal Holdings, both based in Australia.