Scottish-American oil and energy company Ziyen Inc., which has operations in Aberdeen, has achieved first oil as it prepares to enter a new round of funding.
The company, which currently owns 13 oil leases, has successfully started production at its Potts lease, Indiana. This means the company has now been officially classified as an operator by the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Alastair Caithness, CEO at Ziyen, recently presented at the OWI North American Conference of Well Intervention in Houston, alongside industry leaders including Shell, ConocoPhillips, Noble Energy and Halliburton.
He discussed the challenge of setting up a start-up oil company and the barriers to entry to be classified as an operator, as well as the development of the Ziyen Advantage programme, where the company will utilise the latest in sustainable technology to reduce capex and maximise extraction.
Ziyen is about to close round two of funding as it continues to execute the Regulation A+ process with a targeted initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. The company has already secured more than 350 investors, with over 50 per-cent of those from Scotland, by operating a crowdfunding model similar to the one used by BrewDog in the US.
An alternative to a traditional IPO, this new method is designed to make it easier for smaller, early-stage companies to raise up to $50million in investment capital from the general public and not only from accredited investors.
Potential investors have until November 30th (2018) to purchase shares at $1.50 each as part of round two of funding, before a new offering with a higher share price is filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) early in the new year.
The company was founded in 2016 by Inverness-born Alastair Caithness following his move from the north-east of Scotland to San Diego, California.
In the past 11 months and since launching its second round of funding, Ziyen has acquired a dozen further oil assets which – added to the company's move into production – will see its valuation increase.
Alastair Caithness, CEO at Ziyen, said: “The past year has seen Ziyen establish itself by increasing the number of oil assets the company now owns to 13. We have also attracted more than 350 investors for what is believed to be the world's first start-up oil and energy company and who have all taken advantage of the opportunity to invest at the early stages of the company and secure equity at the best share price.
“With the closure of round two of funding and the move into oil production, this will allow Ziyen a higher valuation based under oil reserves rather than lease acquisition.
“This is another key part of the process of moving forward with our targeted IPO in 2019 in addition to the launch of our Ziyen Advantage programme in round three of funding, where we are positioning the company to be a leader involved in the transition of energy and the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
“We are proud of our accomplishments to date, while we continue to actively explore plans for further acquisitions of leases – including outwith the Illinois Basin, where the company's existing assets are all located.”
Ziyen's strategy is to acquire numerous leases, return wells to production and pursue other promising oil leases in the United States through its dedicated Ziyen Energy division, while its Ziyen Advantage programme offers a far more sustainable means of oil production in which proprietary technology will be used to reduce costs.
The business is currently in advanced preparations for Nasdaq stock market entry, pending approval of its IPO.