Lime Rock Partners has invested NOK 50 million ($8.45m) into Reelwell, a Norway-based developer of wellbore cleaning and pressure control tech solutions for drilling.
Lime Rock Partners, an energy-focused global private equity firm, today announces the completion of its third oil service technology investment in 2010 and fourth in the last year. The firm recently closed a NOK 50 million investment in Reelwell, a Stavanger, Norway-based technology company developing a new approach to drilling with unparalleled wellbore cleaning and pressure control capability and greatly extended horizontal reach. Earlier this year, Lime Rock Partners closed a $10 million commitment to Silixa, a London-based developer of a proprietary system to record acoustic signals along optical fiber for use in the oil and gas and other industries. It also closed a $6 million investment in TerraSpark Geosciences, a Boulder, Colorado-based developer of seismic visualization and interpretation products. Last year, Lime Rock Partners made a $10 million initial investment in PanGeo Subsea, a St. John’s, Newfoundland-based company commercializing 3D and 4D acoustic imaging technologies for use in the oil and gas, offshore wind, and other industries.
Since the founding of Lime Rock Partners in 1998, the oil service technology sector has been one of the three core focuses of the firm, alongside the exploration & production and broader energy service sectors. In early 2009, Lime Rock Partners launched a strategic initiative to build its investment activity in the technology sector. This initiative has not only resulted in more investments, as evidenced by the four recent portfolio company transactions, but also by an expanded team with even more skills to meet Lime Rock Partners’ goal to become the investment partner of choice for the highest potential oil service technology companies worldwide. The Lime Rock Partners team brings to every investment global expertise in technology commercialization, product marketing, financial markets, and long-term strategic development.
To lead the oil service technology effort, Trevor Burgess joined the Lime Rock Partners team in early 2009 as a Managing Director based in Aberdeen. Mr. Burgess brought to the team over 30 years of experience in the oil service and technology sectors, including as Director of Global Business Units and Group Director of Marketing and Technology at Expro Group, Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Marketing and Technology at Baker Hughes, and at various marketing and technology management roles at Schlumberger.
John Reynolds, Managing Director of Lime Rock Partners, said, “The oil service technology sector has always been an important one for us and for the global oil and gas industry. When we hired Trevor and redoubled our efforts in the sector, it was to find companies with enormous potential like Reelwell, Silixa, TerraSpark, and PanGeo, companies that see the benefit of a differentiated investment partner that brings value-adding know-how to help them successfully grow their businesses.”
Lime Rock Partners is seeking to invest growth capital in fast-growing oil service technology companies that meet several key criteria: are developing products that offer step-change improvement; are beyond the proof of concept stage; are easily integratable into oilfield processes; have early major oil company or major service company sponsorship; and are led by exceptional entrepreneurs.
Mr. Burgess added, “Small companies are bringing exciting technology to the oilfield to lower costs, increase efficiency, reduce exploration risks, and make possible the development of previously unexploitable oil and gas reservoirs. Lime Rock Partners has the capacity and the will to continue to invest with the best technology companies worldwide. We hope to add more investments like Silixa, PanGeo, Reelwell, and TerraSpark, and help them exceed their goals for growth.”
PanGeo Subsea has developed leading-edge scientific concepts in the areas of 3D and 4D acoustic imaging technologies into products and services for applications in the oil and gas, offshore wind, and other sectors. The company’s products are used to interrogate the seabed from the seafloor to the reservoir. Its suite of technologies includes the Acoustic Corer, Sub-Bottom Imager, and Acoustic Zoom. For more information, please visit www.pangeosubsea.com.
Reelwell is developing the Reelwell Drilling Method, a revolutionary new drilling system that pushes limits for extended reach drilling and improves well control with a closed loop fluid system, ideally suited for managed pressure drilling. Reelwell is a recipient of the Offshore Technology Conference “2010 Spotlight on New Technology Award” for its real-time drill pipe telemetry system. For more information, please visit www.reelwell.com.
Silixa’s has developed the Intelligent Distributed Acoustic Sensor to record the full acoustic signal, in real time, at every point along kilometers of standard telecoms optical fiber. iDAS applications will include cost-effective flow metering at every point within wells; leak detection and diagnosis along pipelines; and security monitoring. For more information, please visit www.silixa.com.
TerraSpark Geosciences leverages its unique blend of upstream industry experience, geoscience expertise, and computer science skills to deliver groundbreaking solutions for extracting the key features from geophysical data. The company’s Insight Earth product radically improves and accelerates seismic interpretation and data visualization with Automated Fault Extraction, Surface Wrapping, and Domain Transformation. For more information, please visit www.terraspark.com.
Established in 1998, Lime Rock manages $3.9 billion of private capital for investment in the energy industry through Lime Rock Partners, investors of growth capital in energy companies worldwide, and Lime Rock Resources, acquirers and operators of oil and gas properties in the United States. With $3.0 billion under management, Lime Rock Partners is a creative, value-adding, and long-term investor of growth capital in exploration and production, energy service, and oil service technology companies worldwide. From four locations worldwide, the Lime Rock Partners team brings together a global network of relationships, deep interdisciplinary expertise in finance and energy company operations, and a strong track record of value creation.