Blackstone Group Invests $250M+ in Driller Huntley & Huntley

According to the Wall Street Journal, private equity firm Blackstone Group has invested $7 billion in U.S. natural gas. The way the Journal puts it, Blackstone is “betting” $7 billion, implying it’s a risky roll of the dice. A seriously big chunk of that investment was the recent announcement that Blackstone has bought part ownership of Rover Pipeline for $1.57 billion (see Energy Transfer Sells 32% Ownership in Rover Pipe to Blackstone). However, it was a short paragraph in the WSJ article that really caught our attention. The WSJ says Blackstone has invested $250 million in Huntley & Huntley. We’ve written plenty about H&H, including an article today about their challenge in obtaining a well permit in Westmoreland County. H&H is a privately-held, Pennsylvania-based corporation that’s been around since 1912–founded as a geologic and engineering consulting firm for the oil and natural gas industry. Over the years the company has transitioned into a drilling company. The company is now owned by Keith Mangini, a petroleum geologist who started working at H&H in 1978. Mangini acquired the company in 1993 and since that time has served as its CEO. He added Mike Hillebrand as a partner in 1996. Does $250 million in private equity backing sound familiar? It should! That’s the exact amount of backing promised by another private equity firm (Denham Capital) for a different SWPA driller (LOLA Energy). LOLA was recently sold to Rice Energy (see LOLA Energy Sells Out to Rice Energy, Deal Kept Hush-Hush). Which raises a good question: Is such a deal in the cards for H&H?…

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