Press release

Companies offering ‘investment’ in US oil wells closed down following Insolvency Service investigation

Two companies - New Horizon Energy Limited and New Horizon Energy LLC (incorporated in the State of Illinois USA) - that claimed to offer significant investment opportunities, have been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by Company Investigations of the Insolvency Service.

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Both companies sought investments from members of the public for a percentage share ownership of oil wells in the United States.

The investigation found investors were promised large returns to be paid monthly, based on the volume of oil produced from each well. They were told that the wells were already producing oil at a substantial rate. The reality was that the wells hadn’t been drilled and therefore were not producing oil. Investors had been chasing the companies for information about their investment and were given updates detailing delays and problems with a constant reassurance that the wells would be ‘producing shortly’.

There was much confusion as to which company the investments were with, New Horizon Energy Limited or New Horizon Energy LLC. The two companies overlapped and both would provide updates to investors, The director of New Horizon Energy Limited and New Horizon Energy LLC failed to co-operate fully with the investigation. He failed to deliver accounting records for both companies.

Although some £3.1million was received from investors, the investigation was unable to identify any investor funds that were applied by the companies in furtherance of the investment opportunities for which the investors had paid their money.

David Hill, Chief Investigator said that:

Businesses such as these must be brought to an end to protect investors and rid the business environment of companies that operate with dishonesty.

Notes to editors

New Horizon Energy Limited was incorporated on 27 July 2012 under the name of Natural Gas Investments Limited (Company registration number 08159655). The registered office of the company is 10th Floor, One Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9HT.

New Horizon Energy Limited Liability Company was organised on 12 November 2012, file number 04149114, in the state of Illinois. The registered office of the company is 939 West North Avenue, Ste 750, Chicago, Illinois IL 606420000.

The recorded director of both companies is Adam Skeet

The petitions were presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986.and The Official Receiver was appointed as provisional liquidator of the companies on 5 August 2015 by Mr Justice Norris. The companies were wound up by the High Court on 7 October 2015.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Further information about live company investigations is available.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110 Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

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Published 23 October 2015