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First Reserve Invests $500 Million into Brazilian Energy Company

3 May 2010

May 3, 2010 – First Reserve Corporation, the world’s leading private equity firm in the energy industry, today announced that its First Reserve Fund XII has provided an equity commitment of up to $500 million to Barra Energia Petroleo e Gas (”Barra Energia”), a newly established independent exploration and production firm led by Brazilian energy industry experts, Joao Carlos de Luca, Executive Chairman, and Renato Tadeu Bertani, Chief Executive Officer.

Barra Energia, which is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will combine its world-class technical and commercial expertise to pursue the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and gas assets in Brazil.  Barra Energia will focus on building a balanced portfolio of assets in selected onshore and offshore basins in Brazil.  Led by Messrs. de Luca and Bertani, both former Petrobras executives, the Barra Energia management team intends to utilize its extensive experience in Brazil to identify unique opportunities to deliver robust reserves and production growth.

“The Barra Energia team has an outstanding track record in building valuable E&P portfolios through innovative thinking and cost-effective project execution,” said Will Honeybourne, Managing Director at First Reserve Corporation. “Brazil continues to emerge as an important economic power and has developed a vibrant, state of the art energy industry with significant growth potential. We are looking forward to supporting and contributing to the long-term growth of the local petroleum sector.”

Mr. de Luca is currently President of IBP (Brazilian Petroleum and Gas Institute), where he has been closely involved with the advancement and development of a sustainable energy industry in Brazil.  Mr. de Luca’s expansive career in the oil and gas sector includes his position as President of Repsol YPF Brazil, an organization he helped found in 1998.  Additionally, Mr. de Luca served as Director of E&P and a member of the Board of Directors at Petrobras.

Mr. Bertani is currently President and CEO of Thompson & Knight Global Energy Services, where he directs consulting engagements in a variety of geographies including Latin America, West Africa, the UK and the Gulf of Mexico.  Prior to Thompson & Knight, Mr. Bertani spent over 30 years in technical and high-level managerial positions with Petrobras, including most recently as President of Petrobras Americas.  Mr. Bertani is also Vice President of the World Petroleum Council.

“We are extremely excited about our partnership with First Reserve, whose commitment reflects its belief in the ability of our management and technical teams and in the sustainable growth of the Brazilian energy sector and economy,” said Mr. de Luca, Executive Chairman of Barra Energia.

Added Mr. Bertani: “We have already identified various opportunities to leverage our skill set and to build a quality oil and gas portfolio both organically and through acquisitions. Our partnership with First Reserve should enable us to deploy our investment plan, and create local jobs and value for our shareholders.”  

About First Reserve Corporation

First Reserve is the world’s leading private equity firm in the energy industry, making both private equity and infrastructure investments throughout the energy value chain.  For more than 25 years, it has invested solely in the global energy industry, and has developed an unparalleled franchise, utilizing its broad base of specialized energy industry knowledge as a competitive advantage. The firm is currently investing its most recent fund, which closed in 2009 at approximately US $9 billion. First Reserve invests strategically across a wide range of energy industry sectors, developing a portfolio that is diversified across the energy value chain, backing talented management teams and building value by building companies.  With a multi-billion dollar portfolio of worldwide oil and gas exploration and production companies, First Reserve continues to focus on Exploration & Production as a core segment within its diversified energy strategy.  Further information is available at

About Barra Energia

Barra Energia is a newly established independent oil and gas exploration, development and production company based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company’s principal focus is to use its technical and commercial expertise and local knowledge to find, develop and produce hydrocarbon resources in onshore and offshore basins of Brazil. The management team of Barra Energia has extensive experience in building and developing E&P portfolios both in Brazil and abroad. They intend to leverage their skill sets, and knowledge of the local geology and operational environment to build a leading independent Brazilian oil and gas company and contribute to the further growth of the Brazilian petroleum sector.