An industry rediscovered: Top 7 oil & gas tech startups to watch in 2019

Oil and gas (O&G) are the most reliable and widely used source energy that powers the modern world of transportation. The production of these resources is not just about discovering the resources and extracting the fuel safely but also about optimizing the processes to be cost-effective. Reduction of production costs would lead to a reduction in fuel prices, which is a major issue in many countries today. But this is not an easy challenge as the industry isn’t very open to change and technological innovation. Over the last decade, companies have been leveraging low-cost data-driven methods to produce fuel more safely and efficiently. Here is a list of seven such companies that are reshaping the O&G industry.

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Tachyus

Tachyus calls oil & gas the lifeblood of the global economy. The company provides the technology that is required for O&G producers to make data-driven decisions. The Tachyus platform integrates the data from all possible sources and identifies the most optimal solution for all the operations. They use a technology called data physics, which is a combination of physical modeling and machine learning. This technology enables engineers to predict scenarios like machine failure and identify optimal operational plans that result in cost reduction and increased production. Their solutions also help engineers to optimize steam cycles, water, and Carbon-dioxide floods, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), shale extraction etc. According to the company website, operators who leverage Tachyus in their wells witness up to 20 percent of an increase in production.

Dynamo

The Dynamo gas turbine is a hybrid power system that leverages ultra-capacitor technology to deliver consistent performance irrespective of the load, be it more heat or higher quality power. Dynamo turbines are specifically designed for the oil and gas industry and are far more efficient than the legacy reciprocating engines. They result in higher mean-time between failures (MTBF) and a significant reduction in the scheduled downtime. Their technology allows you to use any fuel from flare gas to diesel without compromising the performance. The equipment is designed to run smoothly even with changing fuel conditions.

The company was founded in 2012 by two entrepreneurs who aimed to build a versatile turbine platform. Initially, the company was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy and the first shop was set up at Greentown labs, where they still reside. Dynamo also provides financial services like equipment financing, commercial finance, and factory protection plans. The company is not actually a lender but has partnered with some leading finance companies to provide competitive rates across a huge spectrum of financial needs.

RunTitle

One major problem with the oil & gas companies is their lack of data to understand the problems they face. RunTitle solves this problem by building data analysis platforms that are human-driven and machine-assisted. RunTitle is the first online marketplace for O&G title information and it has the largest mineral ownership information database in the US.

Their mission is to make the investments and ownership in the O&G market transparent by making it data-driven. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, where it has built a team with deep expertise in cutting-edge technologies like Big Data processing, data science, and user experience design. Besides providing data services, the company also connects advisors with their customers. This way, they make sure that their customers learn to use the data to optimize their workflows, clarify their assets and make optimal decisions.

Mineralsoft

Mineralsoft is another Austin-based tech startup that provides solutions for managing O&G investments. The solutions include both software products (cloud-based) and professional services. The mineral market has been witnessing an evergreen influx of investors. The market estimation has surpassed $1 trillion. These massive numbers demand a solution like Mineralsoft to manage investments. Their technology manages large portfolios, verifies production, tracks revenue and identifies new investment opportunities. The company was founded in 2015 and is funded by some leading tech firms in Silicon Valley and digital oilfield investors. The company has reinforced its data capabilities by partnering with O&G data providers like Oildex and Drillinginfo.

Water Lens

Hydraulic fracturing is the most effective method to produce oil from shale formations. On an average, a typical hydraulic fracture requires 3-5 million gallons of water. While reuse of water can be a good idea to reduce freshwater consumption, the idea brings with it the risk of contamination. Mineral contaminants lead to logistical issues and poor quality water reduce the fluid viscosity. Also, some contaminants corrode the tubes and other equipment. So the mineral oil refineries should always test the quality of water before using them.

The conventional process of laboratory testing takes about three to seven days but Water Lens’ solution tests the sample water and gives you the results in less than 10 minutes. This handy technology saves time and also prevents a lot of damages and maintenance costs. The company has been a true problem solver in the O&G industry and has been selected as one of the energy innovation pioneers of 2018.

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Hypersciences

Hypersciences provides a drilling solution for the O&G industry called the HyperDrill. HyperDrill uses extreme velocity to increases the rate of penetration 10 times more than the conventional drilling methods. The Austin-based startup was founded in 2014 and has a team of experts from various fields like O&G, geology, research, and manufacturing. Besides oil & gas, the company is working on various other industries like construction and mining. One such project is the HyperBreaker. HyperBreaker is a solution that Hypersciences provides for surface rock breaking. HyperBreaker is quite popular among construction and mining companies. The company also works on clean energy projects like its patent-pending thermo-electric power generation from geothermal energy. Worth mentioning: The startup has won a contract with NASA for HyperSonic vehicle research.

Gas Pos

Gas Pos is a point-of-sale (POS) solution provider for gas stations. The solution comprises of a POS terminal, a fuel controller, a cash drawer, a scanner, a customer display, and a pin pad. The payment solution comes with advanced security options like Europay Mastercard and Visa (EMV), and Payment Card Industry (PCI) point-to-point encryption. The company also offers free installation and helpdesk support for their solutions. They provide a cutting-edge inventory solution that doesn’t require a back office to control your price book. Besides gas stations, Gas Pos is used by convenience stores, travel plazas and truck stops across the USA.

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Oil & gas businesses: Not ignored anymore

There was a time when oil & gas businesses were traditionally ignored by most venture capitalists. The clean energy investment boom (2005-2009) made things worse by grabbing the attention of investors. Despite the predictions of O&G supply crunch over the past few years, the industry seems to be strengthening itself by introducing advanced technologies. Besides improving productivity, the new technologies are increasing safety and reducing damage and maintenance costs. As a result, the sector slowly seems to be getting the attention of potential investors like Krishna K. Gupta, the co-founder of Romulus capital. The recent ramp-up of oil production in the United States has made the industry feel much healthier than 12 months ago. Overall, the advancing O&G tech solutions make the future look like a better place for the O&G industry. The world will run on oil and gas for quite a while to come, and these seven startups are fueling innovation in this vital sector.

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