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Crude Production Is Booming, But Energy Fundraising Is Drying Up

  • Buyout firms raised just $1.4 billion in the first quarter
  • Investors are choosier amid mixed returns and volatility
Texas Oil Fields As U.S. Flexes Refining Muscles
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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Commodity prices are rallying and U.S. crude production is booming. But when it comes to new powder for the oil patch, private equity’s well may be running dry.

Energy-focused firms in North America closed just four funds with $1.4 billion in capital in the first three months of 2019, according to data provider Preqin Ltd. That was the sector’s smallest total in three years and a sharp drop from $4.8 billion for a dozen funds during the same period in 2018.