Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Aberdeen, Scotland ,– June 3, 2013 – Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures LLC (“SAEV”), the corporate venturing subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, today announced the closing of an equity investment into Zilift, a developer of through-tubing deployed artificial lift systems using permanent magnet motors and magnetic transmissions.
Zilift was established in May 2009 exclusively to develop and market permanent magnet technologies for innovative artificial lift applications. It is currently developing three products: TorqueDriveTM, targeting heavy oil production and gas well deliquification including conventional and unconventional gas wells; SpeedDriveTM, targeting retrofit conventional oil wells; and KickStart, for kill fluid displacement as an alternative to coil tubing/nitrogen lift.
Zilift’s high power density products can be deployed using coil tubing or wireline deployment techniques, while delivering power efficiency and optimized production. When available, the tools will also reduce lifting costs, enabling customers to explore innovative PCP and ESP deployments in situations and applications where none exist today.
Following three years of development, the Zilift TorqueDriveTM for PCP system is undergoing qualification testing.
Ibrahim Buainain, CEO, SAEV said: “Reliable and easily deployable artificial lift systems are a priority area of technology development for Saudi Aramco. We believe that Zilift’s technologies offer potential for substantial time and cost savings in artificial lift deployment and the potential for substantially enhancing the output from large numbers of producing wells. We are delighted to become an investor in the company”.
Iain Maclean, CEO, Zilift said: “Artificial lift has a long established history of technical development, however, significant step changes are infrequent. In contrast, Permanent Magnet Motor and Transmission technology has made significant advances in the past twenty years, driven predominantly by significant increases in magnet material performance to enable smaller machines with high power density.
There is a great deal of interest in our technologies. This additional investment from SAEV, as well as ongoing support from existing investors Energy Technology Ventures – a GE-NRG Energy-ConocoPhillips venture – Energy Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Viking Venture, Jebsen Asset Management and Investinor, provides us with the resources to forge ahead with product development to achieve commercialisation.”
About Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures – Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures LLC (SAEV) is the corporate venturing subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), the world’s leading fully integrated energy and petrochemical enterprise. Headquartered in Dhahran with offices in North America and Europe, SAEV’s mission is to invest globally in start-ups and high growth companies with technologies of strategic importance to its parent, Saudi Aramco.
For more information about SAEV please visit www.aramcoventures.com
About Zilift – Zilift is an independent company, employing a team of 30 based in Aberdeen and backed by seven venture capital companies.
Zilift TorqueDrive™ for PCP – is an integrated downhole drivetrain and PCP artificial lift system.
Zilift TorqueDrive™ removes the compromises and failure modes that are associated with top drive systems. The system dramatically improves pump performance and wellbore placement options.
Zilift SpeedDrive™ for ESP – is the only 2⁵⁄₈″ diameter ESP in the world. Now it is possible to deploy an ESP on cable or wireline and take all the benefits of ESP artificial lift to new through tubing, slim bore, live well intervention and restricted access applications.
For more information about Zilift, please visit www.zilift.com