SEP, Energy Ventures and Shoaibi back well and pipeline monitoring system

Scottish Energy Partners has co-invested in one of the largest start-up financings this year in the UK. It is the firm's 25th investment in the oil and gas sector, private equity's number one hot spot.

Energy technology company Fotech has secured £6.5 million of venture capital, one of the largest start-up financings this year, from Scottish Equity Partners, Energy Ventures and Saudi Arabia-based Shoaibi Group.
Fotech, which is headed by industry veteran Douglas Gibson, has developed optical fibre-based acoustic monitoring systems with a wide range of applications. These include the oil and gas industry which requires high-performance systems to detect pipeline leaks and other problems.

Fotech will use the funds to further develop and field test its monitoring systems and for the commercial launch of its products which will initially be targeted at the oil and gas market.

The funds will also be used to finance the acquisition of a spinout from the University of Surrey which has developed fibre-optic sensing technologies.

Gary LeSueur, a partner at SEP told PEO: “Fotech fits our strategy of identifying energy technology businesses with disruptive technologies and significant global opportunities.  The management team is highly experienced and we are confident they can make strong inroads into the $3 billion per year oil and gas instrumentation and sensor market.”

LeSueur said the oil field was increasingly becoming digital: “It is more like a network and this optical sensing technology makes data more useful. It gets better information to oil companies about what’s happening, what’s working and what’s not.”

It is Scottish Energy Partners 25th investment into the oil and gas sector.