Capital gathered for closed-ended private equity funds focused exclusively on energy had reached just $3.31 billion by the end of July as the energy market reacted to crude oil prices hitting a near 13-year low in January.
According to data from PEI Research & Analytics, this compares with $31.25 billion gathered during the market peak of 2013 and $22.77 billion last year.
Despite this fall in fundraising, investor sentiment towards the market appears positive. Three energy-focused private equity vehicles held a final close this month; AG Energy Credit Opportunities Fund, Pelican Energy Partners II and POEP II Rimrock Co-Investment gathered $975 million collectively. The funds received investments from limited partners including Contra Coast County Employees’ Retirement Association and San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System.
A further pocket of interest in the energy industry can be found in the debut energy-focused fundraising market. Over the past two years a number of first-time energy-specific vehicles have been raised by firms, both established and new. Among these is Warburg Pincus, which held a final close on the oversubscribed Warburg Pincus Energy fund in October 2014 at $4 billion.