In 2013, Warburg Pincus partnered with Chairman Bud Brigham and CEO Gene Shepherd to found Brigham Resources, a startup oil and gas E&P company. Brigham was formed to pursue two strategies: an upstream strategy focused on identifying, acquiring and developing acreage in emerging onshore unconventional plays, and a minerals strategy focused on acquiring mineral interests in core areas of established, highly economic, resource plays. Warburg Pincus worked closely with management to identify an emerging southern extension of the Delaware Basin, part of the broader Permian Basin in West Texas. This area featured multi-zone stacked pay potential but was largely undeveloped at the time of Brigham’s entry. From 2013 to 2017, Brigham tested, delineated and began developing its ~77,000 net acre footprint. The company’s detailed technical work and strong operations team was ultimately able to increase well productivity by over 50% and decrease early well costs by over 30%, proving the economic viability of a deep inventory of future drilling locations. Despite a challenging commodity price backdrop, Brigham was able to sell the asset (including some Delaware Basin mineral rights) to Diamondback Energy in 2017 for $2.55 billion. At the same time, Brigham was also successfully building and growing its minerals business. Warburg Pincus leveraged its extensive experience in evaluating and investing in onshore resource plays to help management assemble a diverse portfolio of high-quality mineral and royalty interests in some of the most active oil-weighted basins in the U.S. Despite persistent elevated volatility in the energy equity capital markets, Warburg Pincus saw an opportunity with Brigham Minerals to achieve embedded growth given the quality of the operators and drilling economics behind the portfolio. The company completed an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2019 under the ticker “MNRL.”
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