The energy industry is at a crossroads.
The world and global energy markets must address the massive environmental challenge of pollution and global warming. Optima Process Systems, Inc., which offers innovative low-cost solutions to reduce the environmental impact of transport fuels, is helping to develop practical technologies and solutions to address this challenge.
Fossil fuels and oil, in particular, have been highly efficient energy sources since 1850. Fossil fuels have played a major role in the growth, industrialization and modernization of the global economy. However, like coal, Big Oil’s legacy of pollution, environmental damage from its exploration and development and its impact on global warming have created an epoch problem.
Optima’s Commercial Prospects:
Optima has engaged with four different technology providers with proven technologies. Optima has identified several pilot projects which can reduce the toxic emissions from transport fuels and improve process efficiency. Costing between $3,000,000 to $10,000,000, these pilot projects test the commercial viability of these new cleaner low-cost technology based solutions. Not only do these projects look viable, they appear to be highly profitable. Two of the projects could generate revenues and earnings in 2020.
Optima’s four technologies include:
- a heavy oil upgrader which converts thick heavy oil into flowing synthetic crude with 50% of the sulfur and 90% of the metals removed.
- a novel metallic catalyst used in an innovative skid mounted mini refinery. The process removes over 90% of the contaminants, including sulfur and metals.
- Of major significance, this process also works on organic products such as farm waste to make green diesel. This is an extremely attractive environmentally positive opportunity which we are exploring.
Two are desulfurization technologies:
- One comes from a well-funded organization using a sodium ceramic process. Unfortunately, the technology will not be commercially ready for two years.
- the second is a hydrogenation catalyst process that was honorably mentioned in a Platts new technology review.
- $3 million would fund refinery residual desulfurization pilot project.
Some of our technology partners need development capital. This provides Optima the opportunity to make strategic investments in these potentially disruptive technology providers.
Fortunately, some of the technologies Optima is considering are still below the radar. We’ve been asked “Why doesn’t Big Oil do what you are doing if it is so smart?” The answer is analogous to the situation between pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies. In the bio-pharmaceutical paradigm, for example, there are exciting immune oncology drugs which promise to cure cancer, but the pharmaceutical industry does not invest because the time and money to develop these technologies is prohibitive. It can cost over one billion dollars and takes years to bring a new drug to the market. Consequently, a pharmaceutical company will wait until a phase three clinical trial has produced a statistically significant outcome or the FDA has approved a new drug. Then, a pharmaceutical company will step in and buy the biotech company at a huge premium.
Optima has four actionable pilot projects for review. We are exploring other opportunities and drilling down on actionable projects. With the South American E&P, we have run computer simulations on the crude assay for target location. With another project, we have reviewed their data room, supply contracts, offtake agreements and are confirming product pricings for another.