WellAware, the well-connected San Antonio-based provider of monitoring and management services for oil wells, pipelines, and refining and chemical facilities has raised an additional $16 million in its latest round of financing.
The capital, which the company is calling a B-1 was raised from strategic investors Mitsui Corp. and Genscape, a provider of information for the commodities and energy industries.
With the new money WellAware looks to double down on its expansion in the oil and gas industry in the U.S. and abroad.
Despite the collapse of the price of oil, WellAware’s business is doing just fine, according to chief executive and president Matt Harrison.
“What we’re not going to see happen is the slowdown of existing producing oil and gas wells and the need to transport that oil and gas through pipeline infrastructure,” says Harrison. “There’s a tremendous opportunity to get in there and help them optimize efficiency, reduce downtime and improve safety and regulatory compliance.”
There are 1 million oil and gas wells currently operating in the U.S. alone, and WellAware is monitoring a fraction of those wells to ensure that everything is operating effectively.
Through its partner On Ramp Wireless, Well Aware is able to provide remote monitoring and control functions for wells, pipelines and refiners.
“U.S. oil and gas operators are going to continue to operate, but they need to operate more efficiently,” says Harrison. “The three top contributors to oil and gas operational expenses are people, utility bills and chemical usage.”
Using WellAware, the company’s customers have managed to save 15% on operational costs and reduce downtime by 30%, Harrison says. The company’s technology tracks oilfield production data, and it just launched a service to optimize and manage chemical usage on oilfield production sites.
Investors certainly have bought in to WellAware’s thesis. The company has raised $45 million in its previous rounds of funding from Activant Capital Group and a slew of heavy hitters in the energy industry including Ed Whitacre Jr.; a former member of the ExxonMobil board of directors, the Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, and the former Halliburton chairman and chief executive (and former U.S. Vice President and hunting aficionado) Dick Cheney.