Investors Have $100 Billion to Spend on Oil Assets No One Else Wants

World Oil | David Carey, Laura J. Keller, and Meenal Vamburkar

The long wait may finally be over. Since the great crash of oil in mid-2014, more than $100 billion has been raised by buyout firms and distressed-debt funds eager to scoop up energy assets on the cheap. 

But as the months rolled by, few opportunities cropped up as cash-starved drillers limped along with the help of their bankers. Not any more. What started out as a trickle has now turned into something much more, with Blackstone Group LP, Apollo Global Management LLC and WL Ross & Co. all jumping in this year to buy a grab bag of assets at discounted prices. Precise numbers are hard to come by, but in conversations with investors, bankers and analysts across the industry, there’s little doubt that private equity firms are ramping up their investments in everything from undrilled and developed oil and gas acreage to troubled loans. “We’ve gone very aggressively into the market” after holding back for most of last year, said Shaia Hosseinzadeh, who oversees energy-focused distressed-debt investing at WL Ross, the namesake firm of billionaire dealmaker Wilbur Ross. “You’ll see more deals in the second half.”

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