Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP is backing new California-based private E&P company, Black Knight Energy LLC, with an equity commitment in excess of $500 million.

The commitment was announced in a release from Black Knight Energy on Aug. 17. Led by Todd Stevens, formerly the head of California Resources Corp. (CRC), Black Knight was formed in 2021 to pursue the acquisition and development of “large, cash flowing oil and natural gas assets across the Lower 48,” according to the release. 

“I am excited to be partnering with Kayne Anderson in this new venture,” commented Stevens, who serves as CEO of Black Knight, in the release. “We have assembled a great team at Black Knight, with a disciplined focus on value creation, operating cash flow and margin enhancement through safe, responsible operations.”

In addition to Stevens, the Black Knight management team, based in Santa Clarita, Calif., is led by Darren Williams as COO and Elizabeth DeStephens as chief strategy officer.

Prior to the formation of Black Knight, Stevens most recently served as president and CEO of CRC, a position he held since the company’s spin-off from Occidental Petroleum in 2014. Williams and DeStephens also held senior management positions at CRC, most recently as executive vice president of operations, exploration and development and vice president of reserves and strategic analytics, respectively.

“With the right capital partner behind us in Kayne Anderson,” Stevens added, “we are well positioned for success.”

The equity commitment to Black Knight was made from funds managed by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, including Kayne Private Energy Income Fund II LP and Kayne Anderson Energy Fund VIII LP, alongside Black Knight’s management team.

Mark Teshoian, managing partner at Kayne Anderson, also commented in the release, “The Black Knight team has an exceptional operational and commercial track record having previously managed large-scale operations with a keen focus on environmental stewardship.”

“We are fully confident in Todd and his entire team’s ability to create long-term value for our investors and we are excited to partner with them in the formation of Black Knight,” Teshoian continued.

Founded in 1984, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors is a leading alternative investment management firm focused on real estate, credit, infrastructure/energy, renewables, and growth equity. As of June 30, the firm manages over $30 billion in assets for institutional investors, family offices, high net worth and retail clients and employs over 325 professionals in five core offices across the U.S., according to the release.