Data Miner EquityMetrix Digitizes Energy’s Back Office
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and at least six months for recovery, Agnew says. The end result, he added, is that money is being left behind.
EquityMetrix is part of a growing cohort of technology companies that aim to help bring the oilfield into the digital age—whether it’s by beefing up the back office or bringing in more precise drilling techniques or better imaging. Surge Accelerator, a Houston-based cleantech accelerator, has incubated a number of such startups since its founding three years ago. These include DrillMap, which sells a subscription-based Internet database that maps the locations of wells and pipelines; GMEX, an online platform for buyers and sellers of semi-finished metals; and Optimitive, which sells artificial intelligence software that monitors inefficient processes at refineries, hydropower plants, wind farms, and other energy-generating facilities.
Agnew, a former Accenture consultant who concentrated on the energy industry, founded EquityMetrix with his brother, Del, an investment banker. After working with a government agency that collects oil-and-gas royalties, Agnew says, “I saw how error-prone these payments are.”
As an example, he points to a lawsuit filed in 1999 by the state of Texas against seven oil and gas operators for underpayment of royalties. Ultimately, the state collected $200 million.
The demand for services that help recapture oil-and-gas payments has picked up considerably since EquityMetrix was founded a decade ago, Agnew says. In the last year, the company has ramped up its sales staff to target companies that have recently acquired or sold assets.
In that time, EquityMetrix has doubled in size in both revenues (to $6.5 million in 2013) and employees (it now has 60 people). Agnew says he expects revenues to double again this year, with staffing increasing by 40 people.
In January, the company raised $5 million from Peterson Partners, a Salt Lake City-based private equity firm, to fund a service that puts in place processes to make sure oil and gas companies can better track their leases and deeds going forward.
Whereas the company’s main services are related to reviewing past transactions and recovering lost assets, the new service, which will be operated by an EquityMetrix subsidiary called the Mineral Trust and Clearing Corporation, aims to straighten out a client’s records so that it won’t lose any revenues going forward.
“While the other two are backward-looking, cleaning up messes, this will ensure our clients’ data is safe and secure, and provide ongoing surveillance to make sure, when major events happen like sales, we know about them,” Agnew says.
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