Glori Energy, which specializes in extracting additional oil from existing oil wells, announced today that it has secured funding from Energy Technology Ventures. The terms of the funding were not disclosed.
Typical wells extract oil by flooding the well with water to increase pressure and push the oil out of the well. Glori Energy is able to extract an extra 30 to 45 percent of oil left over in existing oil wells by flooding the wells with nutrients that encourage microbes to grow in the wells. Those microbes alter the flow of the oil temporarily, making it easier to extract oil from the wells.
That removes the risk of having to drill additional wells to capture more oil. Oil drilling — particularly offshore drilling — came under fire last year after an explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the well to spew millions of barrels worth of oil into the Gulf.
Energy Technology Ventures is a financial venture-backed by General Electric, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips. All three companies are known for investing in clean technology projects and providing the technology for renewable energy sources like wind and solar power projects. For example, GE is the top supplier of wind turbines for some of the nation’s largest wind power farms. But the three companies are still also investing in traditional energy sources like oil and natural gas.
There are subsidies that bring the cost of electricity produced from renewable energy sources closer to that produced by fossil fuels. But energy generated by fossil-fuel burning methods is still cheaper than energy from renewable sources like solar and wind power.