Canyon Creek Energy – Arkoma LLC (CCEA) said March 9 it partnered with an investor group to pursue acquisition, leasing and development opportunities in Oklahoma's Arkoma Basin.

The investor group is led by private equity firm Vortus Investment Advisors LLC and also includes management and other private industry investors.

CCEA is the third successful startup for the Canyon Creek brand, which has been active in Oklahoma since 2012. The company is managed by an affiliate Canyon Creek Energy Operating LLC, which is led by R. Luke Essman as president and CEO.

The technical work of the Canyon Creek team during the emergence of the Mississippian Lime, Scoop, Stack and Arkoma Stack has provided "transformative results and exceptional returns" to their investors, according to the release.

"Our company is uniquely positioned to use our experience to capitalize on emerging development targets," Essman said in a statement.

Prior to forming CCEA, Essman co-founded Canyon Creek Resources and Canyon Creek Energy both Midcontinent focused E&P companies based in Tulsa, Okla.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Vortus has an asset-based investment strategy, targeting privately negotiated transactions in the lower to middle market requiring about $50 million to $75 million of equity capital in partnership with successful owner/operators, the release said.