Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP has $500 million more to play with after a subsidiary raised the money for oil and gas acquisitions.

McClendon has been barnstorming the Utica for months. Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (Nasdaq: CRZO) said the company has attempted to acquire more acreage there but competition is high and it has been outbid on three recent deals to an unknown party. Management thinks McClendon’s new firm might be the winner, said David Tameron, Wells Fargo senior analyst, in a Jan. 28 report.

American Energy – NonOp LLC (AENO), an affiliate of American Energy Partners, raised the funds for onshore basin deals. McClendon founded both companies and is their chairman and CEO. A news release did not specific which basins would be targeted.

AENO's exclusive private equity investor is Houston-based The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG). Additional equity was provided by AENO management

EMG manages a family of funds that invest in the energy and minerals sectors and has more than $8.2 billion of assets under management. John T. Raymond, EMG's majority owner, managing partner and CEO, has more than 20 years of industry experience.

The investment comes after much activity by McClendon in the Utica following a $1.7 billion joint venture in October. The equity and debt is a partnership between Red Hill Development, part of the family owned Kimble Cos., and McClendon’s American Energy-Utica LLC (AEU).

In December, American Energy Capital Partners filed Securities and Exchange Commission documents to raise $2 billion from public investors. The blind offering meant investors wouldn’t be able to see what the company owns prior to investing a minimum of $5,000.

The partnership’s goal is to cash out by flipping the business in 5-7 years.

McClendon’s seems to give credence to his plans. He co-founded Chesapeake in May 1989 and built it into one of the top drilling companies until his resignation in April.

During his leadership, Chesapeake discovered the Haynesville shale, Utica shale, Powder River Niobrara shale, Tonkawa Sand and Mississippi Lime unconventional plays

Commercial Law Group provided legal representation to AENO and Baker Botts served EMG.