New Southpointe company the latest shale player

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

At a time of suppressed demand, a new Southpointe firm is entering the oil and natural gas fray.

American Petroleum Partners LLC plans to get into exploration and production in the Marcellus and Utica shales. Its headquarters are at 380 Southpointe Blvd.

The company was started in 2014 by Varun Mishra, a former executive with Rice Energy, also headquartered in Southpointe. Last September, American Petroleum Partners entered a partnership with Apollo Global Management LLC, which can provide up to $800 million in private equity investment to APP.

Mishra is its chief executive officer. He previously was an engineer with EOG Resources, in charge of well completion in the Barnett Shale play in Texas, and a founding member of Rice, overseeing the technical team in advance of the company’s initial public offering in 2014.

In a prepared statement, Mishra said: “We look forward to working with Apollo to build a low-cost, Appalachia-focused independent E&P business, taking advantage of the current market stress and low commodity price environment. The current APP team has the expertise and track record to find and efficiently develop shale resources to create value for our partners including land owners.

“As a low-cost basin, we believe Appalachia will continue to grow as a source of domestic natural gas supply and provide an attractive environment for well-capitalized new entrants with strong operational expertise.”

Apollo, which is privately held, is a global investment manager that manages about $170 billion in investments.

“We are excited to partner with Varun and the rest of his team as we seek to build a first-rate oil and gas company capable of low cost development of the prolific Marcellus and Utica shales,” Rakesh Wilson, a partner at Apollo, said in the same statement. “We believe that APP has the experience to find attractive assets and develop them with the latest, low cost drilling and completion technology.”

According to its website,, APP is leasing and operating in 12 counties in three states: Washington, Greene and Allegheny in Pennsylvania; Belmont, Jefferson and Monroe in Ohio; and Brooke, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio and Wetzel in West Virginia.