Blackstone Inc., once a major player in shale patches, is telling clients its private equity arm will no longer invest in the exploration and production of oil and gas, according to people with knowledge of the talks. The firm’s next energy fund won’t back those upstream investments — a first for the strategy. Blackstone’s credit arm is swearing them off too.

At Blackstone, the view in the executive suite has hardened: The world will rely less on extracting hydrocarbons from the ground for energy needs. Though its energy private equity arm hasn’t made a new oil and gas investment since 2017, the formal prohibition is new, and it’s getting stitched into its rules. Since that year, buyout firms have slashed their annual spending on U.S.-focused energy and utility investments by more than 60% to $11 billion in 2021, according to data provider Preqin.

Blackstone has been taking advantage of those rising valuations to sell out of holdings, leaving more opportunities for firms such as Quantum Energy Partners that remain bullish on the sector.

Read more: Yahoo Finance