E&P Private Equity Report: Where’d the Billions Go?

Based on a first-hand survey, E&P private equity and debt providers were asked to describe their investing interests and capacity then versus now. Here are the results.

(Source: Photo collage by Hart Energy; images by Shutterstock.com)

[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the December 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

You’ve heard it everywhere: “The upstream sector of the oil and gas industry is being canceled by institutional investors; I’ve never seen such good opportunities to buy and drill, but there’s no capital to pay for it; grandchildren of Momma Cass are singing, ‘Where has all the PE gone, long time passing?’”

Oil and Gas Investor heard you and asked COSCO Consulting LLC’s Cameron Smith, who helped introduce private equity (PE) to the oil industry and put together the first conferences on PE and energy investing, including Hart Energy’s Energy Capital Conference, to conduct a survey on PE’s attitude toward investing in the E&P space and interview many of its leaders to find answers to just these questions.

Between the middle of September and early October 2021, the survey was sent to capital sources that characterized themselves as a PE or debt provider who have an interest in E&P. Out of some 125 entities, 19 responded to the survey (which in and of itself may be a partial answer to the email’s question).

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