Energy Ventures Ready to Invest $100MM in Hi-Tech Oil, Gas Cos

Venture capital group, Energy Ventures, showcased 16 portfolio companies it has invested in at a special event attended by 200 UK oil and gas industry leaders.

The Aberdeen exhibition of outstanding upstream technology companies also marked the Norwegian-based company's investment in new offices and key personnel in the European oil capital.

Energy Ventures managing partner, Ole Melberg, confirmed the company, along with its partners, had invested in the region of $100 million in UK companies and helped create in excess of 200 jobs. The portfolio companies are spread throughout the UK, Norway and USA and include Aberdeen-based Sigma Offshore and Futuretec Ltd.

Melberg revealed that against a backdrop of restrictive lending from major High Street banks, Energy Ventures has more than $100 million at its disposal for investment in hi-tech companies working in the upstream oil and gas sector.

Melberg said, "Our own commitment to Aberdeen and the North Sea has been strengthened with investment in new city centre premises and expanding our existing team of partners and support staff in Aberdeen.

"Many very competent and profitable businesses are under pressure because their growth has been predicated on the availability of bank funding which is no longer readily available. We are in a position where we are ready and willing to invest up to $20 million in companies which meet the right criteria."

John Westwood, chairman of energy analysts Douglas Westwood, gave a speech on Global Offshore Projects to guests who included representatives from the major oil and gas exploration and production companies, service companies, banking, investment and legal firms.

Greg Herrera, a partner in Energy Venture's Aberdeen office, added, "We think we have the most exciting upstream oil and gas portfolio bar none but we know there are a significant number of equally exciting companies out there who have limited access to funds and would benefit from new capital to drive growth.

"Our focus is to invest equity in companies which offer unique technologies or services which have significant international market potential. Typically our portfolio companies will be able to substantially reduce clients' capital and operating costs, which in today's challenging conditions can make the difference between ongoing production in the North Sea and potential decommissioning."