The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship held its 13th annual Energy and Clean Technology Venture Forum September 17th at Rice University with over 460 attendees and 60 innovative energy technology company presentations.
The often mentioned theme this year was $40 crude oil is an opportunity. It forces companies to adapt more efficient, cost saving technologies which increase production. All the companies making presentations had leading technologies to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Productivity was the keynote theme.
There were over 125 investors and venture capitalists present. One investor said that this is an ideal time to invest in innovative technology companies. The industry needs to accelerate the adoption of technologies in this low crude price environment, and the consensus is optimistic for the future.
In fact, Brad Burke, the managing director of Rice Alliance, asked each of six investors on one of the panels what will be the price of crude oil in a year? The first replied $64.33; the second, $50; the third $70; the fourth $55; the fifth $86; and the sixth $75. Point being no one on the panel is expecting $40 oil a year from now.
A representative from In.Acuity noted by 2018, 4.2 million oil company executives will retire and this will have a major impact on the industry.
Another company has a real time data system to monitor fluid in fracking.
One company has a data censoring system to predict pump failures.
There was a presentation on robot boats which will reduce costs substantially.
Infinite Composites Technology has nonmetal storage tanks for high pressure gas which cuts costs substantially.
There were several groups with improved software to increase operational efficiency.