Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lord John Browne Back in Texas via Riverstone Investment in Three Rivers

Riverstone Holdings made a strategic investment in Three Rivers Operating Company LLC , a private upstream oil & gas company based in Austin, Texas.

Three Rivers will concentrate its efforts in the Permian Basin.
This hearkens the return of Lord John Browne, British Petroleum CEO, now managing director at Riverstone. Consider what happened under Browne's watch:

In 2005, BP's Thunder Horse deepwater rig in the Gulf nearly capsized from a plumbing error. Also in 2005, an explosion rocked BP's Texas City refinery, killing 15 and injuring scores of other workers. In 2006, one of BP's pipelines on Alaska's North Shore began leaking, forcing the company to re-lay 16 miles of pipe.

After promising to make things right, Browne skittered off to Riverstone, a joint venture energy partner with The Carlyle Group.

Carlyle, a politically-connected private equity underwriter (PEU), has a different history of failing in a time of crisis. They've partnered with death dealers, besides Lord Browne.

The ethically challenged congregate together. Carlyle & Riverstone settled with New York for $70 million in a "pay to play" pension investment scheme, not their first. BP paid $303 million for fraud under Browne's leadership. What role will Three Rivers play in any future misdeeds?

Might the Lord's plane land at San Angelo Regional Airport? Will Governor Rick Perry be in his entourage? Perry recently used Texecutive privilege on Carlyle's behalf, drastically cutting a refund to the state for failing miserably on job promises. Time will tell, but Carlyle's interest in West Texas is growing.