Blackstone Group has formed Clarion Offshore Partners, a new fund to help finance the troubled offshore drilling and services sector.

The new entity will provide solutions to sector with a financial commitment from private equity funds that are managed by the US-based private equity firm.

Clarion’s investment will enable the partnership to pursue opportunities with various industry participants, including offshore drilling companies, shipyards, financial institutions, investors, and oil and gas operators.

The platform will be led by former executives of offshore drilling services company Pride International, which was acquired by the UK-based Ensco in 2011.

"Related parties throughout the value chain are facing financial pressures."

Clarion Offshore Partners chairman Louis Raspino said: "Balance sheets are under severe pressure, existing operators are challenged to deploy assets, and related parties throughout the value chain are also facing financial pressures.

"We believe Clarion can be a partner of choice to the industry and we are excited about partnering with Blackstone."

Blackstone private equity business Blackstone Energy Partners senior managing director Michael Ryder said: "Louis and the team are uniquely positioned to contribute deep strategic and operational expertise, having successfully led Pride and other organisations."

Many energy companies filed for bankruptcy following a slump in oil prices and offshore rig services is believed to the most oversupplied sector of the industry.

Image: Blackstone’s new fund will help finance the troubled offshore drilling and services sector. Photo: courtesy of think4photop/