Private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners is backing a new iteration of Bison Oil & Gas to pursue deals in the Denver-Julesburg Basin (D-J Basin), and the E&P has already acquired acreage and production through several deals.

Houston-based Quantum has committed more than $500 million in equity capital to form Bison Oil & Gas IV LLC, which will focus on acquiring and developing oil and gas assets the D-J Basin in Colorado and Wyoming, Quantum said on Feb. 22.

The announcement follows a number of other private equity funds that have announced new or additional financial backing for oil and gas portfolios in 2023.

Since being formed, Bison IV has closed on multiple acquisitions to purchase over 75,000 net acres with current production of more than 25,000 boe/d.

“We look forward to building on the prior successes of the Bison franchise with Quantum Energy Partners at Bison IV,” Bison IV CEO Austin Akers said in the Feb. 22  news release. “We at Bison believe the D-J Basin possesses some of the most economic development opportunities in North America, and we appreciate Quantum’s support to facilitate a consolidation of such an opportunity-rich basin.”

Now in its fourth iteration, Denver-based Bison IV has a similar mission to its predecessor companies. The first Bison developed a D-J Basin portfolio and ended up selling to Extraction Oil & Gas Inc.

Bison Oil & Gas II also focused its portfolio on the D-J Basin before being acquired by Denver-based Civitas Resources Inc. for $300 million in cash last year. The Bison acquisition, which was originally valued at $346 million before being modified into an all-cash transaction, added 102 gross locations in the D-J Basin to Civitas’ portfolio.

Bison Oil & Gas III was formed in late 2019 to focus on opportunities in North Dakota. In June 2022, Bison III sold the majority of its holdings in the Bakken to an unnamed buyer. The company continues to hold certain non-operated interests in the D-J Basin in Colorado, according to Bison’s website.

All three of the previous Bisons were backed by Houston-based Carnelian Energy Capital Management LP. 

“We are pleased to partner with Austin Akers, David Gonzales and the broader Bison team,” said Quantum managing director Alex Jackson. “We have followed Bison closely for many years and they have proven to be exceptional entrepreneurs, high-quality operators of unconventional resources and responsible stewards of their assets.”


Civitas CEO Eric Greager Steps Down Concurrent with $346 Million Deal

Private equity greases the wheels

While energy-focused private equity isn’t expected to return to the glory days of 2015 or 2017, energy and finance advisory Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. (TPH) does anticipate a much more liquid private equity space in 2023, TPH president Chad Michael recently observed.

In January, EnCap Investments LP committed additional equity backing to Double Eagle Energy Holdings IV LLC to support Double Eagle’s strategy of acquiring and developing drilling opportunities in the Permian Basin.

The additional equity capital from EnCap, as well as a reserve-based lending facility led by JP Morgan Chase, extended Double Eagle and Tumbleweed Royalty IV LLC’s capital runway to $2.3 billion.

Last year, Double Eagle and Tumbleweed received backing from EnCap and minority investments from Apollo Global Management LLC, Magnetar Capital and other backers totaling over $1.7 billion.

Private equity firm Andros Capital Partners LLC announced closing its second investment fund at $750 million last month. Similar to its first fund, Andros plans to pursue private equity deals, credit opportunities and direct asset-level investments with Andros Energy Capital II LP.

Meanwhile, Houston’s North Hudson Resources Partners LP launched a $275 million credit fund to support middle-market onshore oil and gas production companies in North America. North Hudson’s inaugural credit fund primarily provides senior secured loans between $20 million and $50 million.