Energy Is My Life—Not Just a Hobby
I've worked in the energy field for over 20 years. I became hooked on investing at 15, buying stocks with my paper route earnings.
After graduating from Texas A&M with a B.S. in chemistry and mathematics, and a master's in chemical engineering, I started working in energy immediately. I've been at it ever since.
For two years I was an efficiency expert at a petrochemical complex in Houston. In Billings, Montana, I figured out a way to blend gasoline that saved the company $9 million a year. For a couple of years I led a butanol-production team in Germany.
Along the way I picked up five patents, one for a new way to convert ethane into ethylene, cutting production costs by $5 million per year (U.S. Patent 7,074,977).
My work has taken me all over the globe. For ConocoPhillips I ran a research lab in Oklahoma developing gas-to-liquids technology. I was on a team in Billings, Montana, optimizing refinery profitability in part by determining which crude oils we should purchase. I headed up a team of engineers in Scotland developing oil and gas projects in the North Sea.
Later, I worked as engineering director for a Dutch environmental-technology company and provided engineering support for a facility they were building in China.
Finally, I've taken on a new role conducting technical due diligence on new energy projects. Based in Hawaii, I travel around the world evaluating startup energy companies for wealthy private investors and hedge funds.
After grilling management and assessing the technology on site, I make a go/no-go investment decision that can mean millions of dollars flowing into these cutting-edge outfits.
In other words, I decipher which energy companies have legitimate, game-changing technology and are worthy of investment—or are exaggerating their capabilities to obtain funding.