This report was produced in partnership with LittleSis, a project of the Public Accountability Initiative, and was co-authored by Derek Seidman.
As global temperatures rise and the catastrophic effects of climate change intensify, nearly all of the Democrats running for president in 2020 have pledged to not take campaign money from executives and companies in the fossil fuel industry. However, many of the candidates have taken large contributions from people who are crucial and active drivers of the current boom in U.S. fossil fuel production: executives of private equity firms and hedge funds that are major investors in oil, gas, and coal companies.
LittleSis and Sludge identified 14 top private equity firms and hedge funds that are heavily invested in companies involved in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, from drilling to transporting and refining, and whose employees made contributions to presidential candidates. From January to June 30, employees of these firms—primarily the CEOs, presidents, partners, and investment managers—gave $214,785 to the campaigns of eight Democrats running for president, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet received more than any other candidate, with $49,300 in contributions from executives and senior employees of Blackstone Group, Warburg Pincus, Oaktree Capital, and other private equity firms and hedge funds with major oil and gas investments. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg received the second-highest total from the firms’ employees, with $44,800, while a few other candidates were not far behind: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker ($42,100), California Sen. Kamala Harris ($31,400), and former Vice President Joe Biden ($22,050).
Many climate activists have drawn attention to the central role that big banks play in propping up the fossil fuel industry – for example, by providing credit facilities and other financial services – as well as major asset managers, such as BlackRock and Vanguard, who are top investors in virtually all major publicly traded oil, gas, and coal companies.
But unlike banks and asset managers, which are safer, more passive lenders and investors, private equity firms are willing to step in to finance the high-risk, high-reward independent producers that are helping drive the current boom in U.S. oil and gas production.
Private equity firms take their own money and money from clients – wealthy individuals and institutional investors like pension funds and college endowments, for example – and pool that money into funds to invest and buy companies, typically with the intent of a short- or medium-term turnaround and high returns. They tend to be more hands-on with the businesses they invest in, installing executives and directors, extracting hefty management fees, and loading companies up with debt in order to turn profits before selling out of the position (in many cases, this practice has forced private equity-owned companies into bankruptcy).
The colossal value of private equity firms’ assets make them extremely powerful. For example, the world’s biggest private equity firm, Blackstone Group, oversees $545 billion in assets – a number which, if measured as GDP, would make Blackstone the 23rd wealthiest nation on earth. Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone’s Chairman and CEO, is one of the world’s richest people, worth around $18 billion. Schwarzman chaired Donald Trump’s now-disbanded CEO Council. Among other things, Blackstone is the largest private owner of rental homes in the U.S. – and, as we show below, is a major investor in oil and gas companies.
Private equity firms are significant, active players in the fossil fuel industry, filling a crucial financing void to prop up the continued expansion of oil and gas operations. Journalist Bethany McClean, author of a recently-published book on the fracking industry, writes that “[p]rivate equity funds dedicated to natural resources raised nearly $70 billion of capital in 2015” and “over $100 billion in 2016.” According to S&P Global Platts, private equity investment in natural resources – such as oil and gas, as well as timberland, farmland, water, and mining – “hit a fresh record” last year.
Simply put, private equity is not a marginal or incidental player in the fossil fuel industry. It is a core driver of that industry, with vested financial interests in hundreds of oil and gas corporations, from smaller independent businesses to major companies.
Companies backed by private equity – many which we discuss below – exist all across the oil and gas industry. For example, Wall Street firms are major players with Cheniere Energy, the nation’s top producer of liquefied natural gas. Investors include the hedge fund Baupost Group, which is a 5.5 percent beneficial owner, and private equity firm EIG Global Energy Partners. Moreover, Blackstone Group is a 41% owner of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. – a limited partnership formed by Cheniere Energy that owns and operates the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal, located on the Gulf Coast at the border between Texas and Louisiana, and the Creole Trail Pipeline in Louisiana. Representatives of Blackstone – including a managing director in Blackstone’s Private Equity Group and the CEO of Blackstone Energy Partners L.P. – have positions on the boards of both Cheniere Energy and Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.
Another example is Jonah Energy, LLC, which describes itself as “one of the largest privately-held natural gas producers in the U.S.” Jonah Energy operates around 1,700 wells in Wyoming’s Green River Basin and is continuing to expand. Private equity firms TPG Capital and EIG Global Energy Partners lead Jonah Energy’s private investor group. TPG Capital Partner Christopher Ortega sits on the board of Jonah Energy Holdings, LLC. Ortega also sits on the board of EnLink Midstream, which carries out major oil and gas operations across the U.S. Another private equity firm, Global Infrastructure Partners, is also a top investor in EnLink, with its partners occupying four Enlink board seats alongside TPG’s Ortega.
Fossil Fuel Money Slips Through the Cracks
Eight Democratic presidential candidates—Bennet, Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Delaney, Harris, Klobuchar, and O’Rourke—received campaign contributions from senior employees of the private equity firms and hedge funds analyzed for this article. All pledged to refuse campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests. The candidates signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, a campaign organized by Oil Change U.S. and endorsed by the Sunrise Movement, Greenpeace, and over a dozen other climate groups.
In taking the pledge, candidates promise “not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.” By and large, the candidates who signed the pledge have honored it and have returned oil and gas industry donations when reporters identified them.
The contributions don’t technically violate the No Fossil Fuel pledge, but they demonstrate a way that campaign cash tied to vested oil and gas interests slips through to the candidates.
A spokesperson for Oil Change U.S. told Sludge and LittleSis that candidates who are committed to the climate crisis should show they understand who is funding it and avoid taking their money.
“Firms and funds that continue to see the production of fossil fuels as a profit-making opportunity rather than the climate crisis-causing enterprise that it is are certainly a part of the problem,” said David Turnbull, strategic communications director at Oil Change U.S. “While the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge doesn’t directly bar these contributions, we’d certainly agree that candidates who hope to be seen as a true climate leaders should avoid funding their campaigns with money being made via fossil fuel investments.”
The Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activism group, agrees. “If candidates want to show they’re serious about taking on the power of the fossil fuel lobby and tackling climate change, they should stop taking money from the people making millions of dollars off their investments in fossil fuels,” Stephen O’Hanlon, communications director for the Sunrise Movement, told LittleSis and Sludge.
Of the more than $200,000 contributed to Democratic presidential candidates from Jan. 1 to June 30 from private equity firms and hedge funds that are major investors in the fossil fuel industry, Sen. Michael Bennet has gotten the largest chunk, with $49,300. Bennet does not support the Green New Deal and voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In a 2017 op-ed, Bennet urged his fellow Democrats to embrace natural gas, writing that “saying no to responsible production of natural gas … surrenders progress for purity.” Bennet’s donations include $2,800 from Oaktree Capital President Bruce Karsh; $2,800 from Warburg Pincus Special Limited Partner John Vogelstein; and $2,800 from Blackstone Group President and CEO Jonathan Gray.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s $44,800 haul from the firms includes maxed-out contributions of $5,600—covering both the primary and general elections—from Blackstone chairman and senior managing director Bennett Goodman and Baupost Group chief executive and portfolio manager Seth Klarman.
Buttigieg recently released a climate plan that calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but would not ban all fracking or eliminate American exports of fossil fuels. Employees of Blackstone Group, which currently holds a 41% stake in Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P., the company which owns and operates the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal, gave Buttigieg $30,800 in the first half of the year, more than the firm gave to any other candidate. In February 2016, Sabine Pass became the first U.S. LNG exporter from the lower 48 states.
Current primary frontrunner Joe Biden’s $23,050 haul from the firms includes $1,000 from Nazar Massouh, CEO at Orion Energy Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that invests in storage, rental, and water services for oil and gas operations across the U.S. Biden also received $750 from Andrew Singer, partner and general counsel at Energy Capital Partners; $2,800 from John Vogelstein, special limited partner at Warburg Pincus; and $2,800 from Rajath Shourie, managing director and global co-portfolio manager at Oaktree Capital.
Biden has multiple ties to liquified natural gas giant Cheniere Energy. His climate adviser, Heather Zichal, made more than $1 million as a Cheniere board member from 2014-2018, and he recently attended a campaign fundraiser hosted by the co-founder of natural gas company Western LNG whose CEO and co-founder, David Thames, was previously senior vice president and chief financial officer at Cheniere. Sludge and LittleSis found that Biden has also received campaign contributions from senior employees of private equity firms invested in Cheniere: Blackstone Group employees, including Vice President of Government Relations Alex Katz, gave Biden $7,600, while Baupost Group General Counsel Fred Fogel chipped in $1,500.
It’s not just Democrats who are taking money from these firms. One of President Trump’s joint fundraising committees received $35,000 from John Bookout, partner at Apollo Global Management, which has investments in American Petroleum Partners, Caelus Energy Alaska, Chisholm Oil & Gas, and other fossil fuel companies. Bookout is also a member of the board of directors at McDermott, an engineering and construction company that mostly works with fossil fuel and chemical companies. Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who is running a primary challenge against Trump, received $5,600 from Seth Klarman, the Baupost Group CEO.
Of the 10 candidates who appeared in the most recent debate on September 12, only three did not take contributions from employees of the firms from January to June 30 of this year: Senators Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. Notably, Sanders’ and Warren’s climate plans are ranked numbers one and two, respectively, on Greenpeace’s climate plan report card. Castro’s plan is ranked eighth, with a “B” grade.
Some key points that stand out include:
- Private equity has fueled oil and gas operations in the Texas Permian Basin. Private equity investments have helped drive oil and gas operations in major regions of production – the Bakken Formation and the Marcellus and Utica Shale Formations, for example. But private equity’s biggest impact is perhaps seen in the Texas Permian Basin, which has emerged as the world’s busiest oil field, surpassing Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar Field. Private equity firms are key financiers of the many smaller and medium-sized independent producers that have driven the frenetic development of Permian oil field operations. Blackstone, TPG, Warburg Pincus, Energy Capital Partners, Orion Energy Partners, and others are all major investors in Permian Basin oilfield companies. There are, however, some indications that private equity investment in Permian operations could slow down or pivot towards other oil and gas plays.
- Private equity is helping fuel oil and gas exports. Private equity is funding major infrastructure to facilitate the oil and gas export business. For example, Carlyle Group is financing the construction of a major crude oil export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, which will be “the first onshore location in the U.S. capable of providing export service to fully-laden Very Large Crude Carriers.” EIG Global Energy Partners is a 49% joint venture partner with Kinder Morgan on its $2 billion Elba Island LNG export terminal in Savannah, Georgia which, when fully operational, will produce up to 2.5 million metric tons of LNG per year for export. As mentioned, Baupost Group and EIG Global Energy Partners are investors in Cheniere Energy, who owns the Sabine Pass LNG export facility through Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P., a limited partnership in which Blackstone has a 41% stake. LNG exports from the U.S. have hit record highs in recent years.
- Private equity is a player along the entire fossil fuel production chain. Private equity doesn’t just invest in oil and gas extraction operations. Many firms this report identifies invest in companies – such as Zenith Energy, Black Bear Midstream, Waterfield Midstream, and dozens more – that own pipelines, transportation services, storage facilities, and other midstream business operations. Private equity firms have also been investing in fracking wastewater operations – Blackstone, Ares, and TPG, for example.
Private Equity Firms, Hedge Funds, and Their Fossil Fuel Companies
Here, in alphabetical order by firm, are sketches of the private equity firms and hedge funds we looked at and some of their fossil fuel investments:
Apollo Global Management
Apollo has numerous oil and gas investments, including: DoublePoint Energy, a Permian Basin oil producer that announced last year that it was merging with another company to form a new entity, DoublePoint, which will be owned by Apollo, Blackstone, and other investors; Talos Energy, an independent oil and gas company “focused on offshore exploration and production” whose “expertise is based upon acquiring assets in and around the Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico”; and Chisholm Oil & Gas, an Oklahoma-based oil and gas production company, founded with Apollo funding in 2017. Now, Chisholm is merging with another private equity-backed fossil fuel firm – Gastar, owned by Ares Management – to form a company, still called Chisholm Oil and Gas, that will produce the equivalent of 20,000 barrels.
Individuals employed by Apollo Global Management donated $38,800 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Ares Management oversees $142 billion in assets, including numerous oil and gas holdings. Its portfolio includes: Blackbrush Oil and Gas, an independent oil and gas exploration company with four board members from Ares; California Resources Corporation, which describes itself as “the largest oil and natural gas producer in California on a gross-operated basis.”; and Gastar Exploration, an oil and gas producer with operations in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and elsewhere. As mentioned above, Gastar, which Ares owns, is merging with Chisholm Oil and Gas, which is backed by Apollo Global Management.
In 2016, Ares was reported to be an investor in the the proposed 178-mile Pilgrim Pipeline, which would cut through the land of the Ramapough Lenape Nation. The Pilgrim Pipeline struggled to progress, and it is unclear is Ares is still financing the pipeline.
Individuals employed by Ares Management donated $5,600 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Baupost is invested in a host of major fossil fuel and utilities companies, including: Cheniere Energy, an LNG export company that was the first company to receive permits – granted under the Obama Administration – to export LNG from the lower 48 states; Antero Resources, a Denver-based company that calls itself “the most integrated NGL and natural gas business in the U.S.”; and Pacific Gas and Electric, a California gas and electric utility.
After PG&E declared bankruptcy following last year’s disastrous Californoa wildfires, Wall Street swooped in to buy up the utility and turn a profit. Klarman bought $873 million in PG&E stock last September, as well as $1 billion of legal claims that an insurer held against PG&E – effectively betting both on and against the distressed utility.
Individuals employed by Baupost Group donated $29,735 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Blackstone Group is the world’s largest private equity firm, overseeing $545 billion in assets. Its co-founder, chairman and CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman, is worth around $18 billion. Schwarzman has been a top ally of Donald Trump, donating to and fundraising for Trump, and chairing his now-disbanded CEO advisory council, the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
Blackstone has billions invested in oil and gas companies, including: Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P., which owns and operates the Creole Trail Pipeline and the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and is 41% owned by Blackstone; EagleClaw Midstream Ventures, “the largest private diversified midstream company” in the Permian’s Delaware Basin, according to its website; and Rover Pipeline, which delivers fracked gas drilled from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations nationwide through hubs in Ohio and West Virginia, as well as to Canada by way of Michigan.
Like other private equity investors, Blackstone also wants to cash in off the booming fracking wastewater business in Texas. In February, it announced the formation of Waterfield Midstream “a full-cycle provider of water management services, including water gathering, treatment, recycling and disposal, to provide solutions to producers in the Permian Basin.”
Individuals employed by Blackstone Group donated $86,100 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
The Carlyle Group is the world’s second biggest private equity firm, overseeing around $223 billion in assets. Carlyle has three co-founders: William E. Conway, Jr., Daniel A. D’Aniello, and David M. Rubenstein. Each is worth $3.2 billion.
Carlyle is a major oil and gas investor, with investments in dozens of companies in the U.S. and abroad, including:Chesapeake Energy Corporation, a top U.S. oil and gas producer, in which Carlyl has a 10.6% stake, according to Chesapeake’s latest proxy filing; Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the largest oil refinery on the east coast, now bankrupt and shutting down after a major explosion this past June; and Corpus Christi Crude Oil Export Terminal, which will be the first onshore U.S. location that can ship out fully-laden Very Large Crude Carriers. Carlyle is also in talks with other companies to open a crude oil pipeline from Houston to Corpus Christi.
Carlyle has also been a major financier of Hilcorp Energy Company, one of the nation’s largest privately-held oil and gas production companies. Hilcorp recently made headlines when it acquired BP’s Alaska operations.
Individuals employed by The Carlyle Group donated $17,800 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
EIG Global Energy Partners
EIG Global Energy Partners is a private equity firm dedicated to investments in the global energy industry. According to its website, the firm has “committed more than $31.9 billion in 355 portfolio investments in 36 countries.”
EIG has dozens of active investments in oil, gas, and coal companies across the world, including: Kinder Morgan, a powerhouse midstream oil and gas corporation with 70,000 miles of natural gas pipelines across North America, with which EIG is a 49% joint venture partner on its $2 billion Elba Island LNG export terminal in Savannah, Georgia; USA Compression, a “third-party provider of mission-critical compression services to customers across the oil & gas industry”; and CrownRock, a top driller in the Permian Basin that is run by Tim Dunn, the conservative billionaire who funds the far-right group Empower Texans.
Other current active EIG investments in the U.S. include ARB Midstream, Cox Oil, Felix Energy, Great Western Petroleum, Intervention Energy, Northeast Natural Energy, Rosehill Resources, Southcross Energy Partners. Like Baupost, EIG is also invested in Cheniere, and like TPG, it has a stake in Jonah Energy.
Individuals employed by EIG Global Energy Partners donated $2,800 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Elliott Management Corporation
Elliott Management is a hedge fund that oversees around $38.2 billion in assets. It was founded by Paul Singer, who is worth around $3.5 billion. Elliott’s oil and gas investments include: Hess Corporation, a leading global oil and gas producer, including operations in North Dakota and the Gulf of Mexico; and QEP Resources, a leading private oil and gas producer operating in the Williston and Permian Basins in North Dakota and West Texas. Elliott owns 4.9% of QEP and recently attempted to acquire the company – a move that QEP eventually turned down.
Individuals employed by Elliot Management donated $5,600 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Energy Capital Partners
Energy Capital Partners invests in energy infrastructure projects, mainly in North America. Doug Kimmelman, who founded the firm in 2005, has a net worth of $1.85 billion in 2016 and is an 8% owner of the Miami Marlins, a Major League Baseball franchise.
Energy Capital Partners’s current fossil fuel holdings include: Calpine Corporation, one of the biggest generators of electricity from the burning of natural gas in North America; CIG Logistics, which describes itself as a “leading independent provider of integrated logistics infrastructure and solutions to the oil and gas industry” and “the largest operator of sand and well consumable transloading facilities in the U.S.”; and Targa Resources, one of the largest independent midstream companies in North America, with operations across the Permian Basin, Barnett Shale, Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico, and other areas.
ECP also invests in coal companies, including CM Energy and Ramaco Resources, in which it has a 10.83% stake.
Individuals employed by Energy Capital Partners donated $3,750 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Global Infrastructure Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners oversees $51 billion for its investors. GIP’s managing partner and chairman is Adebayo Ogunlesi, who is also lead director of Goldman Sachs’s board.
It’s oil and gas holdings include: Competitive Power Ventures, which develops and operates power plants, including the controversial Valley Energy Center in the Hudson Valley, a fracked gas power plant that recently began operations; Freeport LNG Development, L.P., the owner and operator of an LNG “receiving and regasification facility” near Freeport, Texas; and Medallion Gathering & Processing, LLC, which describes itself as “the largest privately held crude oil gathering and intra-basin transportation system in the Midland Basin in Texas.”
GIP also has investment relationships with Hess Corporation and EnLink Midstream, both who also have other private equity investors mentioned in this report, such as TPG and Elliott Management. GIP holds four of the nine EnLink Midstream board seats.
Individuals employed by Global Infrastructure Partners donated $5,600 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
KKR is a major global oil and gas investor. Its U.S. portfolio currently includes Accelerated Oil Technologies, Comstock Resources, EXCO Resources, Monterra Energy, and Resource Environmental Solutions. Its financing partnerships are aimed at extracting fossil fuels. For example, KKR’s relationship with Texas oil and gas firm Comstock Resources is aimed “to develop oil and gas assets in the Eagle Ford Shale.”
This May, KKR announced new partnerships – one with Western Natural Resources to drill in the Williston Basin, as well as one with Spur Energy Partners, an investment firm, to “acquire large, high-margin oil and gas production and development assets across the Lower 48.”
Individuals employed by KKR donated $6,600 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Oaktree Capital Group
The Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Group is a distressed debt investor that oversees $120 billion in assets. Its co-founder and co-chairman, Howard Marks, is worth $2.2 billion and owns around 10% of the firm. Another co-founder and co-chairman, Bruce Karsh, is also worth $2.2 billion.
Some of Oaktree’s most prominent fossil fuel investments include: a 9.5% stake in Berry Petroleum, an oil and gas drilling company with operations in California, Utah, and Colorado that, in 2018, produced 19.7 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in California; significant holdings in Vistra Energy, a major power generation company based in Texas that generates power through burning fossil fuels; and Black Bear Midstream, a Texas company that operates gas gathering pipelines and systems.
Oaktree also swooped in to invest in PG&E after last year’s wildfires, buying up $1.2 million in PG&E stock and $128.8 million in bond notes.
Individuals employed by Oaktree Capital donated $24,600 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Orion Energy Partners
Orion Energy Partners is a private equity firm that invests in the energy sector – mainly $25 million to $200 million investments in “underserved middle market energy infrastructure businesses” tied to the oil and gas industry. The firm’s senior advisory board is filled with fossil fuel industry executives. It’s CEO, Nazar Massouh, worked at Energy Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs before co-founding Orion. He started his career at NRG Energy in “power plant development and project finance.”
Orion invests mainly in storage, rental, and water services for oil and gas operations across the U.S., including: American Natural Supply, a Pittsburgh-based commercial fuel supply and storage company that “provides fuel sales, delivery, management and related services to support the field service activities of the leading energy companies active in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Formations”; Midland Basin Partners, which provides water services for drilling operations in the Permian Basin through a “network of wells, pipelines and storage facilities”; and MidCentral Energy Partners, which provides services and rental equipment for field operations in the Permian Basin and SCOOP/STACK Play in Oklahoma.
Individuals employed by Orion Energy Partners donated $1,600 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
TPG Capital is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, overseeing $111 billion in assets. The firm was founded by David Bonderman and Jim Coulter in 1992. Bonderman, worth $3.7 billion, currently is chairman, while Coulter, worth $2.6 billion, is co-CEO. It is headquartered in San Francisco and Fort Worth, with offices across the globe.
TPG is a major investor in the oil and gas industry. Some of its most significant investments include: Rockall Energy, an oil exploration and production company with operations in the northern and southern U.S.; Jonah Energy LLC, which is “one of the largest privately-held natural gas producers in the US,” according to its website; and EnLink Midstream, a Dallas-based company that carries out operations in major areas of oil and gas extraction in the U.S., including the Permian Basin, Oklahoma, North Texas, Ohio River Valley, and the Gulf Coast. TPG partner Christopher Ortega sits on the boards of both Jonah Energy and Enlink.
Like Blackstone, TPG is also investing in fracking wastewater management, In March, it agreed to pay $930 million for a majority stake in the water pipeline network of Goodnight Midstream, which stretches more than 420 miles across three major U.S. shale basins.
Individuals employed by TPG Capital donated $16,400 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.
Warburg Pincus, a global private equity powerhouse, oversees over $65 billion in assets with an active portfolio of more than 185 companies. The firm has “invested or committed over $10 billion across more than 50 energy investments” since the late 1980s. Warburg Pincus raises investments for funds specifically devoted to its energy investments – for example, it is now raising $2.5 billion for a new fund now, after it raised $4 billion for a 2014 fund.
Some of its oil and gas holdings include: Zenith Energy, which buys and builds storage terminals (Warburg financed Zenith to the tune of $600 million in 2014, and the company has grown into a midstream player, acquiring 21 oil and petrochemical terminals across the U.S.); RimRock Oil & Gas Holdings, a Denver-based company that is focused on “acquiring and exploiting onshore assets” in the Bakken Formation; and Laredo Petroleum Holdings, an Oklahoma-based company that acquires and develops oil and gas field primarily in the Texas Permian Basin. Warburg owns around 21% of Laredo. In 2018, Laredo produced an average of 68,168 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Individuals employed by Warburg Pincus donated $11,000 to presidential candidates in the first half of 2019.