Temasek, Riverstone, BNRI back Norwegian oil business

Riverstone has invested $133m from its $7.7bn fifth fund which closed last year

Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Riverstone Holdings and Barclays Natural Resource Investments have teamed up to back Origio Exploration, a Norwegian oil exploration and production business.

The firms will make a combined investment of $525 million. Riverstone and Barclays Natural Resource Investments will each commit $200 million, while Temasek will invest $125 million, according to a statement.

Stavanger-based Origo will acquire exploration licences in the Norwegian and UK continental shelves through farm-ins, licence rounds and focused M&A activity. It plans to participate in the drilling of around 25 exploration wells over the next five years and bring discoveries towards development and production.

Riverstone will invest $67 million from Riverstone Energy Limited, while $133 million will come from Riverstone’s Global Energy and Power Fund V, a $7.7 billion fund which closed above its $6 billion target in June 2013. Last October, Riverstone launched a permanent capital vehicle on the London Stock Exchange. Riverstone Energy Limited, which raised £760 million (€919 million, $1.3 billion), co-invests alongside Riverstone’s funds.

“Our equity commitment to Origo reflects the confidence that we have in … the team, as well as our belief in the potential for significant new discoveries in the Norwegian and UK Continental Shelves,” Pierre Lapeyre and David Leuschen, co-founders of Riverstone, said in a statement.

It is unclear which group sourced the deal. Temasek declined to comment beyond the statement, while Riverstone and Barclays did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

Barclays Natural Resource Investments, a division of Barclays bank which was founded in 2006, targets natural resource investments, primarily in upstream oil and gas, upstream mining, and power. It has committed more than $3.4 billion to 30 portfolio companies and has investment professionals in London, New York and Doha.

Temasek invested S$24 billion ($19.3 billion; €14.2 billion) in the year to March 2014, the most it has invested during a 12-month period since 2007, it said in its annual review in July.