Carlyle/Riverstone & Goldman Sachs Invest $500 Million Cobalt International
With $500 million in financial backing by Carlyle/Riverstone and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, a team of petroleum industry leaders today announced the launch of Cobalt International Energy, L.P., which will engage in oil and gas exploration and production in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and other high-potential global basins. The company will be headquartered in Houston, Texas.
Leading the effort are five outstanding and highly experienced industry executives: Joseph H. Bryant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (former President and Chief Operating Officer of Unocal Corporation); Samuel H. Gillespie, Vice Chairman (former General Counsel of Mobil Corporation and Unocal Corporation); James H. Painter, Executive Vice President of Exploration (former Senior Vice President of Exploration at Unocal Corporation and Ocean Energy); and James W. Farnsworth (Vice President for World-Wide Exploration and Technology at BP), who will join Cobalt as President and Chief Operating Officer effective February 1, 2006. Also forming part of the leadership team is Laura E. Munoz of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, who will join the team in early January as Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
"I believe that the outstanding team that we have formed, utilizing the best technology and backed by a group of respected investors, will yield impressive results," said Mr. Bryant. "We will immediately hire critical technical team members who are experts in the basins where we will focus. In addition, we have begun discussions with strategic industry players in the international exploration and production sector that may join the Cobalt investor team. We expect that from the outset we will be competitive explorers in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and select international basins."
"Oil and natural gas prices are high because of strong growth in demand. Exploration needs to keep pace with future growth," Mr. Bryant added. "This makes Cobalt's concentrated, technology-focused exploration all the more timely. We believe that substantial oil and gas remain to be discovered, and we will quickly be in a position to deliver outstanding exploration and business results."
David M. Leuschen, Co-founder of Riverstone Holdings and Managing Director of Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Funds, said, "Joe has assembled a stellar executive team, which is among the most experienced, respected and skilled in the global exploration and production industry. Along with the rest of the Cobalt team, we believe they will create a 'super-explorer' enterprise that will deliver great results."
Kenneth Pontarelli, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, said, "We expect the Cobalt team to be formidable players from day one. They will engage in high-impact exploration on a global scale. The investor team of Goldman Sachs and Carlyle/Riverstone provides Cobalt the means to compete anywhere in the world."
Joseph H. Bryant: Mr. Bryant is a petroleum industry veteran with 28 years of experience. Until September 2005 he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Unocal Corporation. From 1993 to 2004, he previously served as President of BP Angola, BP Canada and of an Amoco/CNOOC joint venture in China. He has also held executive leadership positions for Amoco business units in The Netherlands and the Gulf of Mexico and numerous engineering, financial and operational assignments throughout the continental United States. Mr. Bryant earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska. Mr. Bryant currently serves on the Board of Directors of Berry Petroleum Corporation.
Samuel H. Gillespie: Mr. Gillespie is an attorney with 25 years industry experience. He comes to Cobalt from his position as General Counsel of Unocal Corporation, where he served from 2003 to September 2005. From 1994 to 2000, he was General Counsel of Mobil Corporation. At Mobil, he led key negotiations, including the global merger with Exxon Corporation. He was instrumental in the expansion of Mobil's exploration and production opportunities in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Qatar, Indonesia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Cameroon, Vietnam, Venezuela and Peru. Mr. Gillespie earned his B.A. from Middlebury College and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University.
James W. Farnsworth: Mr. Farnsworth is an industry veteran with 25 years of experience. He comes to Cobalt from BP, where he has served in various capacities since 1983, and since 2002 as Vice President of World-Wide Exploration and Technology. In this role, he was responsible for BP's global exploration strategy and execution. Prior positions at BP include: VP of North America Exploration; VP of Gulf of Mexico Exploration; and Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Production Manager. Mr. Farnsworth earned his B.S. in Geology from Indiana University and his M.S. in Geophysics from W. Michigan University.
James H. Painter: Mr. Painter has 25 years of industry experience. He comes to Cobalt from Unocal Corporation, where he was Senior Vice President of Exploration and Technology since 2004. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of GOM and International Exploration at Ocean Energy, Inc., where he developed the successful strategy and execution of the Ocean Energy GOM Deepwater Program. Prior to his position at Ocean, he was Vice President, Gulf of Mexico Exploration, at Ocean predecessor Flores and Rucks. Prior industry experience includes positions at Forest Oil, Mobil Oil and Superior Oil. Mr. Painter earned his B.S. in Geology from Louisiana State University.
Laura E. Munoz: Ms. Munoz comes to Cobalt from the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where she is a corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1994) and a graduate of Yale Law School (J.D., 2000). She also has an M.Phil. in European Studies from the University of Cambridge, which she attended on Harvard's Paul W. Williams Scholarship for studies in international government. Following graduation from the University of Cambridge, she was a professor of international relations in Mexico at the Centro de Estudios Profesionales de Chiapas "Fray Bartolome de las Casas" and at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. During the 2000-2001 term, she clerked for the Honorable Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings are the co-general partners of Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Funds. Riverstone, a New York-based energy and power focused private equity firm founded in 2000, has $4.5 billion under management. Riverstone conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the midstream, upstream, power, and oilfield service sectors of the energy industry. To date, the firm has committed $1.3 billion to 16 investments across each of these four sectors, involving $15 billion of assets. The Carlyle Group is a global private equity firm with $35 billion under management. Carlyle invests in buyouts, venture capital, real estate and leveraged finance in North America, Europe and Asia. Since 1987, the firm has invested $14.9 billion of equity in 439 transactions. The Carlyle Group employs more than 630 people in 14 countries.
Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. Goldman Sachs is also a global leader in private corporate equity and mezzanine investing. Established in 1991, the GS Capital Partners Funds are part of the firm's Principal Investment Area in the Merchant Banking Division. Goldman Sachs' Principal Investment Area has formed 11 investment vehicles aggregating $26 billion of capital to date. With $8.5 billion in committed capital, GS Capital Partners V is the current primary investment vehicle for Goldman Sachs to make privately negotiated equity investments.
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