Friday, March 27, 2015

US Geothermal Wringing Profits from Hot Rocks

Last week I spent the better part of a day listening to presentations of energy companies at the Wall Street Analyst Forum in New York.  Although I had heard the management of US Geothermal (HTM:  NYSE) tell the company’s story before, I was impressed to hear about the progress the company has made in squeezing profits from electricity produced with turbines run by underground steam.  Management called it gratifying!

The company reported $31 million in sales in the year 2014, delivering $14.9 million in net income to the bottom line.  That is something to celebrate!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Looking Glass View of UR Energy

Representatives from UR Energy (URG:  NYSE; URE:  TSX) made an appearance at the Wall Street Analyst Forum in New York City the second week in March.  The company has made considerable progress, giving management a new found confidence.  The company’s Lost Creek uranium mine in Wyoming has been producing since third quarter 2013, providing validation for the URE’s in situ mining technologies.  A second asset, Pathfinder Shirley Basin, has reached the permitting stage and appears to be on track to go commercial in 2017.   

According to the URE’s investor presentation the company has all the right assets, has deployed an efficient and effective mining technology and is led by the most skilled management.  Oh, I forgot to mention:  UR Energy benefits from the best competitive positioning to address favorable demand conditions.  Such arguments are to be expected in investor presentations.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Velocys: the Skinny on Gas-to-Liquids

Velocys, PLc (VLS:  LSE) is in my sights after an article appearing in early March 2015 on Biofuels Digest described progress Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) has made in perfecting the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert carbon-based feedstock to liquid fuel, otherwise called Gas-to-Liquids.  Fischer-Tropsch often referred to as FT for short is a series of chemical reactions to convert carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons.  The reactions are triggered by a catalyst, usually cobalt or iron, and managed under high temperatures in a chamber or reactor.  That reactor has presented a big obstacle for many trying to implement FT in commercial gas-to-liquids plans.  Capital costs are high and maintenance of catalysts is complicated. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Gas-to-Liquid Fuel Downunder

Gas-to-liquids is back on my radar screen after an article appearing in early March 2015 on Biofuels Digest described progress Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) has made in perfecting the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert carbon-based feedstock to liquid fuel, otherwise called Gas-to-Liquids.