Energy-focused private equity firm First Reserve Corp. is investing $500 million to form Century Midstream LLC.

Houston-based Century Midstream will focus on developing, acquiring and expanding midstream liquid and liquids-rich shale assets across North America.

The new company’s management team includes Joseph Blount, CEO, John Howard, COO, Jim Avioli, senior vice president of business development, and Brian Raber, senior vice president of engineering. The four previously designed and implemented a business plan for developing midstream assets for NiSource (NYSE: NI), a company that distributes electricity, gas and water in the Midwest.

First Reserve, headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., partnered with Renovalia Energy to buy two wind power plants in Mexico in April. In December, when energy M&A saw a slight uptick, the firm closed its purchase of Ameriforge Group Inc., which makes products used by the energy, aerospace and transportation industries. 

First Reserve won Mergers & Acquisitions Private Equity Firm of the Year award for 2011. 

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