A unit of private investment banking company Blackstone is exploring the sale of US-based oil and gas producer PRI Operating to raise approximately $2bn, including debt, reported Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.
The move forms part of Blackstone Credit’s strategy to retreat from the oil industry. Blackstone Credit is the credit investment arm of Blackstone.
A potential sale could include the land and surface rights, as well as pipeline infrastructure that supplies water to help extract shale oil and gas, according to the sources.
The alternative assets manager has been looking to move away from exploration and production investments due to concerns over the assets’ impact on the environment and poor returns following years of investments.
As part of this effort, Blackstone Credit is working with an undisclosed investment bank to explore options for PRI Operating.
The sources, however, said there is no certainty that a sale agreement will be signed for PRI Operating, a private exploration and production company that was founded in 2017.
Backed by Blackstone Credit and management, PRI owns approximately 35,000 net acres in the southern Delaware basin that forms part of the wider Permian basin.
Last year, Blackstone signed a $1.85bn deal to sell GEP Haynesville to Southwestern Energy, and Primexx Energy Partners to Callon Petroleum for $788m.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Blackstone Credit and Apollo Global Management were considering the sale of oil and gas producer Ridgeback Resources.
Blackstone currently owns controlling investments in other oil and gas producers in the US. These include Appalachia-focused Olympus Energy and Beacon Offshore Energy in the Gulf of Mexico.