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Things to know: $17.5B oil acquisition, new accelerator focuses on sustainability, and more in Houston energy

Houston energy transition folks — here's what to know to start your week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a podcast episode with a biotech leader, a very big oil and gas deal, and events not to miss.


Big deal: ConocoPhillips to buy Marathon Oil for $17.B in all-stock deal

ConocoPhillips is buying Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal valued at approximately $17.1 billion as energy prices rise and big oil companies reap massive profits.

The deal to combine the two Houston-headquartered companies is valued at $22.5 billion when including $5.4 billion in debt.

Crude prices have jumped more than 12% this year and the cost for a barrel rose above $80 this week. Oil majors put up record profits after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and while those numbers have slipped, there has been a surge in mergers between energy companies flush with cash. Continue reading.

Podcast to stream: Carlos Estrada, head of Venture Acceleration at BioWell, joins the Houston Innovators Podcast

Bioindustrial technologies have a high potential for impacting sustainability — but they tend to need a little bit more help navigating the startup valley of death. That's where the BioWell comes in.

Carlos Estrada, head of Venture Acceleration at BioWell, says the idea for the accelerator was came to First Bight Ventures, a Houston-based biomanufacturing investment firm, as it began building its portfolio of promising companies.

"While we were looking at various companies, we found ourselves finding different needs that these startups have," Estrada says on the Houston Innovators Podcast. "That's how the opportunity for the BioWell came about." Continue reading.

Events not to miss

Put these Houston-area energy-related events on your calendar.

  • The Energy Drone & Robotics Summit is coming to Houston June 10 to 12. Join for the ultimate event in the world for UAVs, Robotics & Data/AI, 3D Reality Capture, Geospatial and Digital Twins focused on the business and technology in energy & industrial operations, inspections, maintenance, surveying & mapping. Register now.
  • Argus Clean Ammonia North America Conference will take place on June 12 to 14 at the Hyatt Regency Houston. Over the three days of the conference, explore the big questions many producers are facing around where demand is coming from, expect to hear perspectives from key domestic consumers as well as international demand centres for clean ammonia. Register now.
  • Join the over 150 senior energy and utilities leaders from June 17 to 18 in Houston for AI in Energy to unlock the potential of AI within your enterprise and delve into key areas for its development.Register now.
  • Energy Underground (June) is a group of professionals in the Greater Houston area that are accelerating the Energy Transition that connect monthly at The Cannon - West Houston. Register now.

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A View From HETI

Nine companies have joined Greentown Houston. Photo via Getty Images

Greentown Labs announced that it added nine climatetech start-ups in Q2 of this year.

The new members of the incubator, which is co-located in Houston and Boston, work in a variety of fields from electricity to manufacturing and agriculture.

The companies in the Houston location include:

  • GS Vortex Systems, a Portland-based company that focuses on cost reduction and flow assurance in piping systems. Its hydrodynamic flow technology allows for higher flow through existing pipes that increases productivity and reduces emissions. It’s based in Houston and Tampa.
  • BiaTech Corporation, applies AI and machine learning fto natural resource infrastructure immersion to help energy and utilities produce more with lower risks of production disruptions
  • InfraNergy, a Florida-based clean energy infrastructure provider that develops clean energy projects via virtual power plants to reduce power costs and drive decarbonization
  • Neuralix, a Dallas-based startup that offers a suite of rapid, customizable templates for data lifecycle for the energy and manufacturing sectors
  • Reverse Energy Solutions, a Chicago-based startup that provides cost-effective solar panel recycling through streamlined collection and transportation processes
  • Terralytiq, which has developed an enterprise software platform for industrial supply chains, that helps reduce supply chain costs and carbon. It’s headquartered in Austin.
  • EnergyGigs, a talent and freelance platform for the energy industry based in Houston
  • Metalex, a commodity trading firm with operations in Africa that delivers carbon-neutral critical metals that are processed in a decarbonized supply chain
  • TDS Select, which has developed a modular, scalable water-treatment technology to desalinate brackish water using low-energy

According to Greentown, another 11 startups joined the nonprofit's Boston incubator.

Greentown Labs, with the Browning the Green Space, named the second cohort for the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program, or ACCEL, in the spring. The accelerator, which works to advance BIPOC-led startups in the climatetech space, launched in 2022.

It also named 6 energy tech startups to Shell-backed accelerator in October.

Earlier this month the climatetech incubator added three new members to its board of directors. This came after CEO and President Kevin Knobloch announced he would be stepping down at the end of July. Kevin Dutt was recently named interim CEO of the organization.

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