Seaborne trials of Quadrise Fuels International's (QFI) technology for adapting heavy oil economically for fuel use should bear fruit by June. The AIM-quoted company, which is in a joint venture with diversified international shipping giant Maersk and has a memorandum of understanding with Power Seraya of Singapore, maintains its technology, which can emulsify bitumen and very heavy oil and adapt it into lower-cost, lighter fuel, can save oil shippers significant transport expenses, cut costs in meeting new carbon emission rules and, crucially, transform the economics of refineries processing heavy crude.
Currently controlled by Swiss-based speciality chemicals group International Energy, chaired by Melbourne-based Ian Williams and with ex-BP luminary Jason Miles steering business development, Quadrise, which lost a reduced £3.8 million in the year to June, says it is making progress in targeting Saudi Arabia, Mexico and elsewhere with its technology, following crucial successes in Lithuania. The company has forged an 'evergreen alliance' with paints and chemicals multionational Akzo Nobel and Williams stresses potential future applications for the water business and other sectors.
Quadrise suggests its technology will be able to improve extraction rates from certain oil 'reservoirs' by 20% to 40%. The company has nearly 10% of Optimal Resources, a new Canadian enhanced fuel recovery play for reviving depleted oilfields and expects results of tests on Optimal's technology in March.
At 4p, QFI shares have recovered from a12-month low of 1.88p. Williams is clear the company will need funding soon to support its programme, but, provided the test results are satisfactory and big industry partners stay and come aboard, that should not be a problem.
Quadrise shares are clearly a gamble. But, if its ploys do go well, it is one which could pay off well.
Market cap: £22m
PE Forecast: n/a
Share price: 4p
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