October 18, 2010 3:17 am

Tudor seeks shale gas deals

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Tudor Pickering & Holt, the Houston-based boutique investment bank that focuses on the energy industry, is opening an office in London in a bid to capitalise on growing European interest in the US shale gas boom.

The bank, founded in 2007 by former Goldman Sachs partner Bobby Tudor, is one of the biggest players in US oil and gas transactions, advising on nearly $34bn (£21.3bn) worth of deals so far this year, second only to Barclays Capital, according to Dealogic.

Its London outpost will initially be staffed by Anish Kapadia, an analyst covering oil exploration and production who formerly worked at UBS, as well as a sales and corporate finance team.

Mr Tudor told the Financial Times he would like to see the office expand to about 40 people over the next two to three years.

Tudor Pickering & Holt, which is known in the market for its focus on technical research, has about 100 people in the US, mostly in Houston but also some in Denver and New York.

UK and European interest in shale gas production, where gas is extracted from prehistoric shale rock beds, was ramping up, although US companies had a big head start, Mr Tudor said.

The breakthrough technology – much of it developed by smaller, independent companies – was a “game-changer” for the energy industry, given the US’s vast shale beds, he added. Over the next decade, he expects shale to meet as much as 20 per cent of US energy demand, a dramatic shift in the market.

Investors are clamouring for similar opportunities in Europe, where countries such as Poland boast substantial shale deposits.

Tudor Pickering & Holt plans to focus first on developing its core research offering in London, then build out institutional sales and advisory capabilities.

Boutiques’ share of the US market – just 7 per cent in 2005 – has leapt to 54 per cent during the past 12 months, according to Dealogic.

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