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Warburg Pincus, PEs pump in $600 million into Rahul Dhir's Delonex Energy

MUMBAI: Marquee private equity firmWarburg Pincus and its partners will investup to $600 million in Delonex Energy, a fledgling oil exploration and production firm set up by oil industry veteran and former boss of Cairn India, Rahul Dhir.

A joint statement from Warburg and Delonex said that the investment in the Central and East Africa-focused oil and gas explorer would be done through an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, No other details were disclosed.

ET first reported on the investment by Warburg Pincus in 
Delonex Energy in its editionpublished on November 22, 2013.

Dhir, who successfully transformed Cairn from a laggard to one of the industry's prized companies, before selling it off to 
Vedanta Resources, is leading other former Cairn executives in an exciting and bruising hunt for oil beneath the vast swathe of continentalAfrica stretching from the Ethiopian highlands to the lush green game forests at the edge of Lake Victoria.

Buoyed by the success of striking oil and gas in unusual and forbidding places such as Alaska, 
the Arctic north and the deep ocean floor off the coast of Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico, investors and entrepreneurs are venturing into virgin territories in search of oil or gas.

Dhir and his team, which include David Ginger, former director, exploration and new ventures, at Cairn, and Ajay Gyupta, former commercial and M&A director at Cairn India, will use modern technology to penetrate the earth at the East African Continental Rift System, a vast faultine running from the Red Sea to Ethiopia, Kenya and Mozambique and which experts predict will one day branch off from the mainland to form a whole new continent; they will hunt for oil in Ethiopia where the mighty Blue Nile rises to begin its 1,450 km 
journey and whose waters are now the source of a bitter dispute.