Issue: Sep 2009


Development of Oil and Gas Technologies That Address the Worldwide "Hunger for Energy



by Jon Knox

Soane Energy LLC has announced that it has secured its first institutional round of financing. The round was led by Intervale Capital and also included CTTV Investments LLC, the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures. Soane Energy is focused on developing and applying innovative chemical solutions based on specialty polymers and surface science to help meet the worldwide hunger for energy in a practical, immediate and environmentally responsible way. The company's initial focus is on the oil sands market in Canada.

"The US Department of Energy projects that our reliance on fossil fuels will actually increase over the next two decades," said David Soane, Ph.D., founder of Soane Energy. "While alternative energy will fulfill our power needs of tomorrow, Soane Energy's technology can be applied today to improve the efficiency of oil and gas extraction and reduce the environmental impact of exploration and production."

Canada provides 19 percent of the U.S.'s foreign oil supply, making it the number one oil exporter to the U.S. Half of that oil comes from oil sands, which have an estimated developable reserve of 175 billion barrels. However, the oil sands extraction process is energy-intensive and inefficient. It also produces a byproduct of contaminated water, currently stored in manmade lakes (called tailing ponds) that cover over 130 square kilometers of the Canadian landscape. To comply with new environmental directives from Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), oil producers are seeking new recovery options that can make the oil sands production process more efficient, less costly and more environmentally friendly.

"The ERCB in Alberta has issued new directives with deadlines beginning in September 2009, which means that oil sands producers are looking for immediate and effective solutions to the tailings issue," said Charles Cherington, Managing Partner and co-founder of Intervale Capital. "Soane Energy offers a significant opportunity to address the tailings problem in a more economic and environmentally friendly manner."

Soane Energy is developing a portfolio of technologies based on polymer chemistry and microparticle science that will enable operators to improve the efficiency of producing oil from oil sands, while reducing the environmental impact of tailings ponds. With Soane Energy, operators will be able to reduce the energy used in the oil extraction process, recycle water used in the process, decrease overall water consumption, reduce CO2 emissions, reduce costs associated with tailings ponds maintenance, and consolidate solids to allow for rapid land reclamation.

About Soane Energy

Soane Energy LLC was founded in 2006 by scientist and serial entrepreneur David Soane, Ph.D. An early stage specialty materials company, Soane Energy is the latest in a long line of Dr. Soane's successful ventures, including ACLARA BioSciences, Nano-Tex, and Innovative Construction and Building Materials. All of these ventures have demonstrated the successful application of polymer-based nanomaterials in everyday life, solving problems from stains on clothing to the durability of construction materials. Soane Energy is focused on developing and applying innovative chemical solutions to help meet the worldwide "hunger for energy" in a practical, immediate and environmentally responsible way. Through its contributions to the energy industry, Soane Energy believes it will have a profound effect on improving the health of the planet while generating significant returns to company shareholders. For more information, visit www.soaneenergy.com.

About Intervale Capital

Intervale Capital is a private equity firm, based in Houston and Boston, focused exclusively on investments in middle-market oilfield services companies and related technologies. Intervale, together with its predecessor entities, has ten platform investments. More information is available at www.intervalecapital.com.

About Chevron Technology Ventures

CTTV Investments LLC, the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures, identifies and invests in new technologies and business opportunities that can create value, clear competitive advantage and superior financial returns for Chevron Corporation.

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company's success is driven by the ingenuity and commitment of approximately 62,000 employees who operate across the energy spectrum. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels and other renewables. Chevron is based in San Ramon, California. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com and www.chevron.ca.


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