EnerVest, private equity specialist in shale, lays off 111 workers

(Bloomberg) – EnerVest Ltd., a private equity firm specializing in shale drilling, has laid off 111 people at its Houston headquarters, citing “tough times for the industry.”

The job cuts were made “in an effort to resize our business and secure a prosperous future,” company spokeswoman Lindsey Welch said on Monday.

Private equity firms that have been instrumental in the rapid expansion of shale exploration for more than a decade have seen their business models evaporate after back-to-back oil crises scared investors and drained the asset market. . Publicly traded drillers who were once keen to take ownership of oil and gas properties assembled by private donors are instead focusing on conserving cash flow and limiting production growth.

EnerVest sold its Eagle Ford Shale wells and drilling rights in 2018 for $ 2.4 billion in a transaction that created Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, EnerVest was operating the assets on behalf of Magnolia, which is run by former Occidental Petroleum Corp Chief Executive Officer Stephen Chazen. A spokesperson for Magnolia declined to comment.

(Add details of the pressure on private drillers in the third paragraph.)

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