Monday, July 29, 2013

GA Drilling Announces Technology Development and Strategic Investment Agreement with Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG

Bratislava, Slovakia – July 29, 2013 — GA Drilling, the innovative drilling technology development company, announced today that it has concluded a technology development and strategic investment agreement with Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG (SBO), the global market leader for high-precision components for the oil service industry. The partnership will allow GA Drilling (GA) to further develop its patented groundbreaking PLASMABIT technology to meet major challenges of the drilling industry.

"We are pleased to be partnering with SBO to accelerate development of our PLASMABIT technology," said Igor Kocis, CEO and founder of GA Drilling. "This solution has great potential to address critical performance, efficiency and economical parameters for current drilling applications. It is not only about increasing of the penetration rates to hard-rock, but to introduce the significant well cost reduction for almost any kind of drilling, improved well stability and the real-time data acquisition."

The new funds raised will be used to support GA’s growth plan, including 3rd generation of plasma disintegration device, new test-rig construction for drilling to deeper depths and to extend current partner network of GA. "Decision of SBO to collaborate with us is a strong validation of the achievements our team has accomplished to-date. We look forward to continuing to work closely with SBO to develop, manufacture and test new drilling solutions for our future customers. The involvement of SBO will advance our geographical presence in new areas like Americas and will bring us new opportunities in Joint Industry Projects we are running with drilling industry partners. Definitely, it will enable successful commercialization of PLASMABIT for the oil and gas, mining and geothermal industries,” concluded Igor Kocis.

About GA Drilling
GA Drilling is a technology company developing groundbreaking PLASMABIT technology based on high-energy electric plasma. The PLASMABIT technology enables to drill with a constant higher speed, without need to change a drilling bit on regular basis and with increased well stability. Therefore, the overall drilling and infrastructure costs, as well as drilling time are radically cut. This is a key factor in onshore, but even more in offshore. After 5 years of R&D in laboratories with 40-member team, GA has already demonstrated the drilling with test-site prototype, integrated with supporting technologies. PLASMABIT is enabling new effective oil and gas applications, mining productivity and completely new geothermal energy utilization. GA Drilling cooperates closely with oil and gas operators and concluded development contracts with listed Forbes2000 companies.

About Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG
SBO is the global market leader for high-precision components for the oil service industry. The business focus is on non-magnetic drillstring components for directional drilling. Additionally, the group manufactures drilling motors and drilling tools and offers to its customers full-scale repair and maintenance services. SBO activities cover both the development of specialty high-strength non-magnetic steels for the oilfield industry and metallurgical finishing and production of high-precision components.

The capacity to solve extremely complex tasks of processing materials makes SBO the perfect partner to further develop and implement challenging drilling technologies. SBO’s operative companies are present in all major centers of the oil drilling industry and are independently operating local units. Leadership in technology, quality and service counts among the declared corporate objectives, with customer benefit being both the target and the starting point of SBO’s activities.

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Media Contact:
Matus Gajdos

Friday, December 14, 2012

What steps can individuals, businesses or world leaders take to address the most pressing and often interrelated water and energy challenges?

To answer this question it is necessary to look at the sources which we walk on. From the volume perspective, only 1 % of the Earth is colder than 1000°C and 0.1 % is colder than 100°C. This amount of energy is available continuously 24/7 without any carbon dioxide or other pollution and practically not exhaustible. Heat under the Earth’s surface is still permanently produced in the Earth’s volume by decay of uranium, thorium, etc. For effective geothermal electricity production, there is a need to drill between 8-10 km in hard rock, where the temperatures almost anywhere in the world exceed 300°C, optimal for steam turbines and high enthalpy heat production. 

Research and development in emerging drilling technologies is aimed on effective deep drilling in hard rocks with the price linear with the depth, which is significant advancement in drilling technology. This enables to exploit geothermal energy practically anywhere in the world independent of the local geological situation. The most promising solutions are drilling systems based on thermal treatment on rocks. These systems provide cost effective and high speed drilling optimized for the hard rock environment. The technologies are oriented towards creation of power generation units ranging between 20 MW to 30 MW per unit, where drilling costs are expected to be less than $1M per drilled km. The main aim of the technology is to bring the position of the geothermal energy  in the world energy mix to its real potential as base load energy and real alternative to coal, oil & gas and nuclear, by RADICAL change through cost effective deep drilling.

Change of the strategy and paradigm of energy production: 
  • Substantial contribution of geothermal energy to climate change mitigations. Energy distributed production to geographic localities where energy is needed and not where resources are available. It provides minimum transport losses in contrast to present day grids, high security against the collapse of energy systems and security against terrorist attacks.
  • Affordability for developing nations, because the source of the energy the “fuel” is available anywhere. 
  • Small footprint of geothermal energy production sites not harming the country environment in contrast to wind farms and photovoltaic large area fields.
  • Safety of the processes compared to nuclear energy.

The emerging drilling systems are enabling technologies for future development of strategically important application areas as follows:
  • Accessing new reservoirs of oil and gas - In recent decades new deep underground reservoirs that require significant advance in drilling technologies were discovered. One of the main innovations of emerging drilling systems based on thermal approach is the ability to produce continuous casing while drilling. Casing is created synchronously with the drilling process immediately in the drilling bit zone ensuring sealing and mechanical stability of the well all the time also in difficult conditions. This is a key factor in onshore, but even more considerable in offshore drilling with game-changing cost reduction. Moreover it reduces need for Shale Gas extraction and other methods with negative environmental impact. 
  • Deep hidden water reservoirs and possible desalination on continents - Water wells in regions with limited access to drinking water but with rich sources of deep water reservoirs. Another utilization are geothermal wells for power generation aimed at desalination. Main targets areas are Africa, West and central Asia and Australia.
  • Centers of prosperity - Geothermal heat cascade exploitation economy around each geothermal power generation complex, creation of new jobs and local autonomous economies. The cascade consists of hydrogen production, electricity production, lumber drying, direct building heating and cooling, biotechnology reactors, greenhouses, aquaculture, fisheries, wellness, geothermal heat pumps, etc. For development of such prosperity centers, the franchising concept could be applied. 

We believe that to address water and energy challenges it is necessary “to support development of emerging drilling technologies which will provide sustainable and safe energy for the future.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Explosion in startups at the European Venture Contest

As we wrote in our previous article, European Venture Contest 2012 is an integral part of European Venture Summit 2012. Now after the completion of Summit and announcement of the Contest´s results we would give a short summary of the both events.

130 high-tech startups companies from across Europe gathered at the 6th edition of the European Venture Summit (EVS), Europe’s leading venture marketplace, to ‘pitch’ their business proposition to over 120 venture investors (venture capital investors, business angels and Corporate Venture Partners) looking for the right company to invest in. These investors also rated these companies’ presentations in order to rank the 25 best European high-tech companies in the European Venture Contest (EVC). The Venture Contest and Summit play an active role in the financing of European high-tech startup companies and the resulting job creation and economic growth. Berlin Senator for Economics, Technology and Research, Mrs. Cornelia Yzer noted: “[The supply of] Risk capital is crucial for the sustainable growth of startups. Berlin has seen an ‘explosion in startups’ in recent years and is a true vibrant and creative capital. But it is vital to attract international venture capital investors to invest into the local startup community through initiatives such as the European Venture Summit.’ 

The European Venture Summit was hosted by Investitionsbank Berlin, sponsored by Dealmarket, Newion Investments and Morgan Lewis and organized by Europe Unlimited. EVC – Awards for Top 10, Top 25 Each of the 130 entrepreneurs presenting at EVS had been pre-qualified at one of Europe Unlimited’s 18 pan-European qualifier events throughout the year. In Berlin, the pitches of the 130 entrepreneurs were reviewed by more than 120 investors and experts present in 3 different streams: ICT, Cleantech and Life Sciences. Following question & answers after the presentations, the investors rated the Finalists on 7 criteria (see page 3 below). Using all the review ratings on the 7 criteria from the participating investors, organizer Europe Unlimited computed the results to identify the Top 25 of the EVC 2012. These 25 best rated enterprises were then voted for preference by the EVC – Selection Jury, who was in charge of bringing this down to the Top 10. The European Venture Summit thus acted as the selection ground for the Top 10 of the EVC 2012.

Based on the evaluation of Selection Jury, here are the Cleantech companies from Top 25 of the European Venture Contest 2012:

Camfridge Ltd [GB]
Geothermal Anywhere [SK]
ROMO Wind [CH]
Sensile Technologies [CH]
Tidal Sails AS [NO]
4a medicom GmbH [AT]