UK PRIVATE equity fund Epi-V has taken an 18% stake in Tarblaster, a Norwegian company that specialises in technology designed to increase the efficiency of the oil recovery process for oil sands. The business was launched in 2006 by Olav Ellingsen, an entrepreneurial developer of innovative oil-recovery technologies. Epi-V’s investment will enable Tarblaster to scale up its new technology and begin successfully commercialising it for the global oil sands market.
Ellingsen has, in the past, set up two award-winning ventures – Thermtech and Eureka Oil. Thermtech developed a new method for cleansing oil-contaminated drill cuttings. The process won first prize at the Environmental Northern Seas Exhibition in 1991 and the NITO Technology Price in 1994. In 1998, Eureka Oil received the Innovation Norway Technology Award for its electro-acoustic oil reservoir stimulation technology, which can increase oil production by up to four times.