Ridgewood Energy Oil and Gas Private Placements

shutterstock_12144202The investment attorneys at Gana LLP are investigating the potential unsuitable sales of securities sponsored by Ridgewood Energy Corporation (Ridgewood Energy). Ridgewood Energy is a private upstream oil and gas investment company based in Houston, Texas and Montvale, New Jersey and sponsors several oil and gas private placements and investments.

Ridgewood Energy issued a press release announcing that it had closed its latest private equity fund Ridgewood Energy Oil & Gas Fund III, L.P., its largest fund to date, with total capital commitments of more than $1.9 billion. The Fund is a continuation of Ridgewood Energy’s investment program focused on finding and developing oil in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Ridgewood Energy other offerings include Ridgewood Energy Bluewater Institutional Fund, LLC, Ridgewood Energy Bluewater Oil Fund II LLC, Ridgewood Energy Bluewater Oil Fund IV, LLC, Ridgewood Energy Oil & Gas Fund II, L.P., Ridgewood Private Equity Partners Energy Access Fund LLC.

Investors often do not understand the substantial risks of oil and gas private placements. As recently reported in Reuters, when offerings by Atlas Energy LP, another issuer of oil and gas private placements were analyzed, investors only get to see 65-70% of their capital actually put to work on oil and gas projects. Further, the returns on these projects had more in common with running profitable casinos than investments. Reuters found that slightly more than half of 43 private placements Atlas issued over the past three decades investors lost money or just broke even. While investors lost in more than half of the deals in 29 or 67% of those deals, Atlas actually out-performed their own investors.

The costs and structures of many oil and gas private placements are very similar which cause these programs to fail at alarming rates even when oil and gas values trade favorable. Before recommending investments in oil and gas and commodities related investments, brokers and advisors must ensure that the investment is appropriate for the investor and conduct due diligence on the company in order to understand the risks and prospects of the company. Oil and gas and commodities related investments have been recommended by brokers under the assumption that commodities prices would continue to go up. However, brokers who sell oil and gas and commodities products are obligated to understand the risks of these investments and convey them to clients.

Our firm is investigating potential securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks. Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.