Liberty II in $455m acquisition of Bakken assets

The acquisition is the first for the Denver-based oil and gas company since PE firm Riverstone Holdings’ equity commitment of $350m in November 2013.

Liberty Resources II is acquiring oil and gas assets in North Dakota’s Williston Basin, part of the Bakken formation, for $455 million, the Denver-based oil and gas company said in a statement.

The transaction, which involves properties comprising approximately 53,000 net acres and over 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day of production, is the first acquisition by Liberty II since it received a $350 million commitment from funds managed by energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.

The funds include Riverstone Global Energy, Power Fund V, and Riverstone Energy Limited, a $1.2 billion London listed, closed-end fund the private equity firm raised in October last year.

Liberty II declined to disclose the seller of the assets.

Riverstone and Liberty II management previously partnered successfully in Liberty Resources, an oil and gas company also focused on the Bakken. Over the course of two years, Liberty acquired 43,000 net acres and drilled and completed 29 operated wells in the Bakken and Three Forks formations of North Dakota, before the majority of Liberty’s assets were sold to Kodiak Oil & Gas in July 2013 for approximately $680 million.

“Over the past two years, Liberty’s unique completions approach consistently demonstrated the highest average production rates of any operator in the Bakken formation,” said Chris Wright, chairman and chief executive of Liberty II.

“The announced acquisition provides us with exposure to highly attractive areas of the basin where we have not previously operated and where we hope to achieve similar operation success as that achieved during our team’s prior venture,” he added.

Founded in New York in 2000, Riverstone has raised $27 billion and has committed approximately $25.1 billion to 105 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The firm conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the exploration and production, midstream, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors.