Marketing & Innovations

Aramco firm invests into Zilift

Maclean at Zilift, which is backed by seven venture capital companies

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures LLC (SAEV), the corporate venturing subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, has announced the closing of an equity investment into Zilift AS, a Scottish 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: TorqueDrive, targeting heavy oil production and gas well deliquification including conventional and unconventional gas wells; SpeedDrive, 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 optimised 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 TorqueDrive for PCP system is undergoing qualification testing.

Iain Maclean, CEO, Zilift, commented: “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 20 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.”