Venture-capital firm Energy Ventures is using OTC to identify upstream oil and gas technology firms which offer investment potential.
Greg Herrera, head of the company’s UK operation based in Aberdeen, says the Houston event brings a multitude of entrepreneurs from the Granite City together and gives his team the opportunity to meet future star performers.
Energy Ventures reported a successful first quarter, leading a £7.5million investment in north-east downhole technology firm Red Spider. Then, earlier this week it was revealed that the company was involved in helping to provide £4million of fresh funding for Aberdeen-based Sigma Offshore, which has developed a mooring and fluid-transfer system for oil and gas production vessels.
Mr Herrera is upbeat about the UK continental shelf as a sector in which to make further investments, forecasting that Energy Ventures would lead investments of up to £50million in the remainder of 2010.
He said: “Our new investments in Red Spider and Sigma come in a busy period for us which has included the successful exits of two portfolio companies, Novadrill and Direct Drive Systems in the US.
“The UK remains an excellent place for us to invest and we believe there will be a continuing transition from major operators to smaller independents and with that will come faster adoption of new technologies.
“OTC gives us an excellent opportunity to meet the next generation of upstream technology-focused companies and form alliances which hopefully will lead to long-term investor relationships.”
Mr Herrera said that, while some other venture-capital firms had reduced or withdrawn support from emerging companies during the downturn of the past 18 months, Energy Ventures had assisted its portfolio companies in weathering the financial storm.
He added: “We stuck to our principles of supporting our portfolio companies in good times and in bad.
“They all came out of 2009 intact and, while funding or sales development may not have been at levels they had wished for, they have all made significant technical progress and are now positioned for growth as the market returns.”
Expanding Aberdeen firm Global Pipe Components – which supplies a range of pipeline products to markets as far afield as west Africa, India and Kazakhstan – is showcasing a decade of inter-national success at OTC.
Founder Richard Meldrum said: “OTC is a key event for us. This is our seventh year at the conference and it provides a great platform to highlight our expertise, meet potential clients and expand the product and customer base.”