Slovakia-based GA Drilling has received a boost to help develop, test and commercialize its innovative plug and abandonment (P&A) technology.
The company has signed a £4.2 million ($4.7 million) funding agreement with Budapest based venture capital firm Lead Ventures, with funding provided by Hungary-based integrated, international oil and gas company MOL Group and Hungarian Eximbank.
The financing deal, in addition to a service agreement with the European oil and gas company, gives GA Drilling access to onshore production wells where it can put its PLASMABIT P&A technology to the test in real field conditions. In the meantime, GA Drilling continues to seek strategic partnerships with other oil majors for offshore platform and subsea wells for testing.
GA Drilling has developed technology for contactless drilling and P&A milling using its proprietary electric plasma disintegration process. The technology opens opportunities within multiple sectors with the initial focus being the environmental P&A of old wells, slot recovery and other decommissioning services.
“The novel solution developed by GA Drilling has the potential to positively disrupt a very traditional segment of the energy markets,” said Ábel Galácz, CEO of Lead Ventures. “In our view this is one of the most promising energy innovations in the Central European region. Lead Ventures is committed to support those innovative companies which require substantial funding to further their development and has the potential to be the next success story in Central Eastern Europe.”
The agreement marks a step toward commercialization of the PLASMABIT technology, which the developers say can bring positive environmental impacts and significant cost and time reductions when compared to conventional methods for decommissioning unused oil wells.
“GA Drilling now has the ability to commercialize its technology with a major oil company in an operational environment as an integrated services company. We can now optimize our PLASMABIT P&A process and prove the commercial effectiveness of the application for the global market,” said Igor Kočiš, co-founder and CEO of GA Drilling.
“Having MOL Group and Lead Ventures as strategic partners demonstrate the transition, we are making from a technology company to an international service focused business. It validates our combined efforts, our belief in PLASMABIT as a significant game changer with considerable upside in various applications for the industry. We appreciate continuous support and trust of our equity investors, R&D backing from EU public grants, loan from Slovak government to refinance the long-term infrastructure and extending of industrial cooperation, jointly bringing us to today’s success.”
In the currently opened Series “B” round of financing, GA Drilling has contracted more than 85% of the round’s investment volume from investors Berlin Technologie Holding, Slovak Investment Holding and American investor Ted Halstead. The remaining part of the last ticket in the Series “B” is in negotiations.