Latest Shell Technology Ventures investment to improve efficiency
Jul 02, 2014
Shell’s venture-capital arm boosts cleaner oil and gas technologies with third investment in five months.
Shell Technology Ventures (“STV”) today announced an investment in a new technology by Veros Systems of Austin, Texas, USA, that will help identify potential technical problems earlier, boosting efficiency in energy production.
“The investment follows extensive testing of the Veros ForeSight™ monitoring technology,” said Geert van de Wouw, Managing Director of STV. “This could change the way we monitor the condition of the machinery at our assets, both on and offshore. It’s a truly innovative technology.”
Veros System’s ForeSight™ uses clamp-on sensors to continuously monitor subtle fluctuations in the power input of electric motors driving equipment such as pumps, fans and compressors. It then interprets these fluctuations to predict mechanical failure months in advance and flag other potential problems in the equipment, allowing operators to more effectively plan and schedule maintenance.
To date, STV – which Shell re-launched in March 2013 with the injection of new investment capital – has been actively seeking entrepreneurs and start-ups with the right strategic fit for the oil and gas industry.
The investment in Veros Systems is the third deal that Shell’s venture capital group has closed in the past five months. In April 2014, STV became a minority investor in Magseis, an innovative start-up from Norway and makers of revolutionary, low-cost, ocean-floor seismic technology. Prior to that, STV took a stake in 2B Energy, a Dutch start-up seeking to make wind energy more competitive through six megawatt, two-blade turbines.
“We have accelerated the pace of our investments for two reasons,” said van de Wouw.
“We believe that the right technology solutions can bring immediate benefits to our current oil and gas operations and, when it comes to future energy, we want to be at the forefront of impactful technology developments. We aim to shorten innovation cycles, as reducing the time it takes to deploy innovative technologies improves our competitiveness.”
STV’s portfolio is now almost equally shared between investments in technologies core to Shell’s oil and gas business and ventures into future energy technologies.
Petroleum Development Oman (Shell interest 34%) has been running an oil project based on technology developed by Californian firm GlassPoint Solar that was partially funded by STV, and uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to create steam for use in oil production.
“Accelerating the pace of technology deployment is our goal,” added van de Wouw. “Open collaboration with external technology partners is a very effective way to achieve this.”
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About Shell Technology Ventures
Shell Technology Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”). With major offices in Europe and the USA, STV invests in technology companies to enhance the development of new technologies that have the potential to create substantial deployment value in Shell.
Continuing Shell’s tradition in venture capital since 1998, STV’s investment focus includes oil & gas, renewable energy technologies, water and IT. STV co-invests with other corporate investors, venture capital funds and angels and will invest in both early stage and late stage (growth capital) companies. For more information, please visit http://www.shell.com/techventures
About Veros Systems
Veros is an industrial asset monitoring company based in Austin, Texas. The company’s flagship product, Veros ForeSight™, provides a dashboard with real-time operating metrics and clear, early warnings about impending equipment failures, with zero false alarms.
Engineering and maintenance managers rely on Veros ForeSight™ to quickly and easily know how their equipment is operating, identify poorly performing assets and be alerted to problems months in advance, so they can plan and take action. For more information, please visit www.verossystems.com.
Magseis is a rapidly growing Norwegian geophysical company which has developed new technology for ocean bottom seismic (“OBS”) acquisition. The Company’s proprietary Marine Autonomous Seismic System (“MASS”) has been developed with the purpose of significantly improving the efficiency of OBS operations. The Company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and has offices in Bergen, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden.
About 2B Energy
The 2-B Energy team consists of experienced individuals from the wind industry comprising engineering, project development, supply chain management and commercial management. 2-B Energy is based in Hengelo, The Netherlands. 2-B use a downwind, six megawatt two-blade turbine concept. Construction on the 2B energy turbine demonstrator will start in 2015.
About GlassPoint Solar
GlassPoint designs, manufactures and installs solar steam generators, housing them in a unique glasshouse that protects the mirrors and moving parts from sand or dust. Our team saw its potential to replace natural gas in generating the steam injected into oil wells to boost recovery.
According to GlassPoint, this approach can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional methods. Our investment followed a decision by Petroleum Development Oman to select GlassPoint for a solar thermal EOR demonstration project.
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