Don’t Forget about Medium Oil

Oil companies of all sizes are important to the biorefining industry
| April 25, 2011

If BP, Chevron or any other Big Oil company had done what Hunt Refining Co. out of Alabama just did by signing an off-take agreement to use renewable crude from Kior Inc., both Hunt Refining and Kior might be getting a lot more attention. Not that either company needs it, and not that Hunt Refining is small, but don’t forget the role of medium-sized oil companies in the development of the biorefining industry. In an industry where an off-take agreement is nearly as important as the novel process to make a renewable product, Hunt Refining Co. might have just paved the way for the future success of Kior (which also received a loan guarantee at an astounding $1 billion to construct four plants). The plan is for Hunt Refining to purchase Kior’s renewable fuel in the future.

The business of refining is only one area within an array of business ventures at Hunt. Hunt Energy Enterprises is “interested in investing in,” or partnering with energy entrepreneurs in conventional energy ventures as well as those in alternative cleantech sectors,” the company states. At Hunt BioVentures, the focus for investment is on life-science companies such as MacroGenics, a company that works with immunotherapeutic products, or Myogen, a firm that specializes in drugs to prevent heart failure. As a criterion for Hunt Energy Enterprises’ investments, the company states, “we are interested in application of technology that has the potential to disrupt the energy industry value chain.” 

—Luke Geiver