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  • Investing In Water And Energy Insights With Jud Hill, Managing Partner At Blue Star Capital

    Investing in Water and Energy Insights with Jud Hill, Managing Partner at Blue Star Capital

    How Consolidation in the Fracking Industry is Creating Greater Efficiencies and Opportunities For Companies Treating Water

    New York, NY - Point Roberts, WA - April 7, 2015 - Investorideas.com and its water investment portal, Water-stocks.com issues an exclusive Q&A with Jud Hill, Managing Partner of Blue Star Capital, LLC.

    Jud shares insight into some of the benefits in the recent drop in energy prices and how new efficiencies and opportunities have been created for service providers in the sector. His thought-provoking commentary provides a unique perspective and paints a more positive outcome for the relationship between energy and water for the future.

    Read the full interview at http://www.investorideas.com/news/2015/water/04071.asp

    Interview:

    Q: Investorideas.com

    Jud, with your background in water and energy, you have insight into how boom and bust in the energy sector has impacted the opportunity for service providers in the water treatment business. First of all, can you tell us how the boom created such a high profile concern over water usage and treatment and how that built the opportunity?

    A: Jud Hill, Managing Partner, Blue Star Capital, LLC.

    The hydraulic fracturing for deep strata hydrocarbons (2 miles deep) has been around for many years. It has only been in the last 5 to 7 years it has it gained dominance. Some 60 to 70 percent of the wells completed today are hydraulically fractured. Ironically, it is still referred to as unconventional horizontal drilling. A couple of points that are important to note about the relative usage of water in hydraulic fracturing. First - understanding the entire water value chain which considers the following: sourcing of fresh water, transporting or "provisioning" the water to the drilling pad, storing the water on-site in preparation for a frac, managing the return water coming back out of the well, post frac. This return water is referred to as flow-back, which is the water that comes back over 4 to 6 weeks post frac, followed by produced water which will last as long as the life of the well (twenty plus years potentially). The flow back and produced water then needs to be transported (by truck or pipeline) to an offsite location to be disposed of or recycled for reuse. Disposal is typically via a salt water disposal well (SWD) and recycle, albeit discussed at length, is a very small part of this water value chain…at least for the time being.

    Each step of this value chain has a different price point depending on which shale formation you are operating in. For example, in Texas (Permian and the Eagle Ford) where water is in short supply, fresh water is more expensive than disposal. In Pennsylvania (Marcellus) where water is prevalent, fresh water is much cheaper than transportation and disposal. Most importantly, the largest variable in this value chain pricing spectrum, almost independent of the shale formation, is the logistics or transportation costs. This is best demonstrated in Central Pennsylvania where SWD's are currently illegal. The transportation costs can be as high as $15/bbl to haul the water to eastern Ohio to a permitted SWD. It is surprising that many of the Exploration and Production companies (E&P's) don't appreciate or manage the "all in" cost of water. There is a saying in the frac water business that the service provider that reduces the "windshield time" or hauling distance will win the customers' business. In essence, frac water service is a logistics not a technology business.

    Q: Investorideas.com

    As the public and government reacted to the sector, new regulations and rules also came into play. How did that impact the sector on both sides, from the energy companies to the service providers treating the water?

    A: Jud Hill, Managing Partner, Blue Star Capital, LLC.

    Public awareness and regulation are always important drivers in the water sector. The frequently unsaid reality is that industry doesn't mind strong regulation. They want predictability (set a standard and don't change it frequently) and consistently enforce the standards. A high regulatory bar keeps out the bad actors and on balance doesn't affect the all in price of crude oil that much. Generally speaking, most of the experienced and well capitalized E&P players strive to be good stewards of the water supply and want to be seen as green/sustainable actors. The brand damage that comes from doing it wrong is far greater than the perceived savings of a few cents per barrel by trying to cut corners. Of course, treatment companies embrace strong regulation. Regulation is one of the under-pinning's of ensuring that water is priced as a valued commodity and not a "free good" as some like to think.

    Q: Investorideas.com
    What are some of the myths and misperceptions out there on the relationship with energy and water?

    A: Jud Hill, Managing Partner, Blue Star Capital, LLC.

    As mentioned in my previous answer and as crass as it may sound, behaviors are primarily driven by the pricing of the commodity, be it energy or water. Most folks know what they pay to heat and light their homes but many don't know how much they pay for water. It is still very cheap. Furthermore, guess what the primary cost is in the pricing of water? - The cost of energy to move the water thru a pipeline.

    Not a myth but a reality. More than 20% of California's energy is used to move water around the state.

    We all seem to know how much a gallon of gasoline cost at the pump…why? - Because it has a big impact on our disposable income. How much is a gallon of water that you draw from the faucet? - Less than a penny.

    Water and energy are inextricably tied. We now label it as the water/energy nexus.

    Another misconception or unappreciated fact is that energy has many substitutes (e.g. oil, coal, nuclear, wind and solar). Water has ZERO. The best example of perfect price inelasticity… without water, you will die (a need not a want) and, if need be, you will pay any price for it.

    Q: Investorideas.com

    You recently told me in a phone interview how the recent drop in energy prices has created a new era of efficiency in the sector and how that has created an even better opportunity for the service providers. Can you run us through the cycle and where things stand today?

    A: Jud Hill, Managing Partner, Blue Star Capital, LLC.

    The water value chain I described previously has changed dramatically at $50 WTI

    Three things are occurring:

    1. E&P drillers are shifting from exploratory drilling that allows them to "drill to hold" acreage which are new regions of a shale formation that are not well defined in terms of yield…at $100 bbl it can justify the risk…to what is referred to as "infield drilling" or drilling between proven wells where they own the reserves. This concentrates the water volumes into a smaller geographic area.
    2. The Moore's law of fracking is at work….drillers are getting more efficient and better at drilling tighter frac patterns which translates to more wells per pad (3 or 5 moving to 10 to 15) causing a conservative increase of the amount of water used and produced by a factor of say three.
    3. And lastly, drillers are shifting from a "gel frac" formulation to what is called a "slick frac" approach. Gel fracs require about 75,000 bbls of water per frac where slick fracs require twice the amount of water - up to around 150,000 bbls per frac - a 2x multiplier for water.

    So, assume the cumulative effect of these three drivers and you have dramatically changed the water value chain…increasing the water volumes in a smaller area of geography. Now it makes more economic sense to build a "hub and spoke" collection and treatment system. The spokes are a buried network of salt water gathering pipes (dramatically reducing the need for trucks…reducing windshield time…remember?) Everybody wins…the environment, road infrastructure, safety, public acceptance, greener and at around $2/bbl to transport the water, the E&P's save lots of money. The hub is an SWD and potentially a recycling system to return clean salt water back to the drilling area with a sister return pipeline laid next to the collection pipe. Same set of savings apply to recycling by reducing the amount of fresh water required for the next set of fracs.

    Q: Investorideas.com
    In closing , with analysts on both sides seeing energy prices going higher and lower in the year ahead, where do you see it headed and if prices rise will the new efficiencies in place be lost moving forward? Do you think the industry has learned to manage resources better and will hold on to that lesson?

    A: Jud Hill, Managing Partner, Blue Star Capital, LLC.

    I am not smart enough to predict where the price of oil is going, but as long as we price water as a valued resource - everybody will win.

    Bio:

    Mr. Hill recently reestablished his management advisory firm with sector verticals to include energy, water environmental services, general industrial and life sciences. Particular expertise in the nexus between energy, water and agriculture. Advisory services range from M&A, capital structures (equity/mezz. and senior debt), and operations advisory including business strategies, markets and personnel optimization.

    Has over 30 years of experience in both water and environmental service company operations as well as over a decade of private equity experience in the water industry.

    Prior experience includes serving as a Managing Director of NGP Energy Capital Management where he led the firm's efforts in sourcing, execution and monitoring of opportunities in the water and oil field services sectors. Prior to NGP, Mr.Hill was a Managing Partner with Summit Global Management, Inc. where he was responsible for all private equity investments in the water sector. From 1999 to 2008, he served as a Managing Director of Aqua International Partners and then The Halifax Group, both affiliates of the Texas Pacific Group. Mr. Hill's early career was with Atlantic Richfield and Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he held operating and executive roles in the environmental and water sectors.

    Mr. Hill received a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry in 1977 from Edinboro State University and a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering in 1979 from the University of Pittsburgh. He serves as a Trustee of the Water Keeper Alliance.

    Currently serves on the Board Of Directors for Abtech Industries, Inc. and Greenstone Resource Holdings. Formerly served on the Board of Directors for Meineke Auto Care Centers, Soil safe Inc., North American Video Inc., Biotronic Systems Corp. and Westinghouse Bioanalytic Systems Corp.

    About InvestorIdeas.com:

    InvestorIdeas.com is a global news source for investors following leading business sectors including biotech, tech, mining, mobile, energy, water, defense and security, renewable energy, food and beverage stocks and Latin American stocks.

    Follow Investorideas.com on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/Investorideas

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    Become an Investorideas.com Member and use our online stock directories to research stocks - including biometric and mobile payment stocks http://www.investorideas.com/membership/

    Disclaimer/ Disclosure: The Investorideas.com newswire is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by investorideas is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Investorideas is a news source on Google news and syndication partners. Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. All investment involves risk and possible loss of investment. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions, content marketing and online advertising. Contact each company directly for press release questions. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers. More disclaimer info: http://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp

    BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894. Global investors must adhere to regulations of each country.

    800-665-0411 - Source - www.Investorideas.com

    Apr 07 1:34 PM | Link | Comment!
  • A Revolution In Payment Systems; Biometric Experts Talk About Apple Pay And Smart Wallets

    Tech Alert: A Revolution in Payment Systems; Biometric Experts Talk about Apple Pay and Smart Wallets

    New York, NY - Point Roberts, WA - October 22, 2014 (investorideas.com newswire) Investorideas.com (investorideas.com), a financial news source covering leading sectors including biometrics and mobile tech, issues follow-up commentary from biometric experts following the official launch of Apple Pay. Alan Goode of Goode Intelligence, Janice Kephart, founder of the Secure Identity and Biometrics Association (SIBA) and Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID (NASDAQ: NXTD) a company introducing its own biometric smart wallet, talk about the controversial launch that is shaking up the payment industry.

    Biometric expert Alan Goode of Goode Intelligence commented, "Apple Pay has the potential to kick-start the mobile payments market and Apple has created a solution that is convenient, smart and secure. By partnering with large parts of the payments ecosystem, Apple Pay could well succeed where other mobile payments solutions have faltered. I think the stand-out feature of Apple Pay is the use of fingerprint biometrics for authentication purposes and mirrors PayPal and Alipay in its adoption. Other news this week; with the partnership between biometric card vendor, Zwipe, and MasterCard we may well be at the beginning of a transformation for payment authentication, replacing PINs for higher-value contact card-based payments and facilitating increased amounts for purchases using contactless cards and NFC-equipped mobile devices."

    Janice Kephart, founder of the Secure Identity and Biometrics Association (SIBA) said,

    "Apple Pay's launch could be a revolution in payment systems, and make using physical credit cards obsolete. But there are barriers to overcome in perceptions about privacy, security and convenience. It also is operating in a relatively small playing field: consumers must own an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (the only phones which have both a fingerprint sensor and NFC (near field communication) chips and merchants must have NFC readers (they need not 'sign-up' for Apple Pay however). While the fingerprint sensor is one of the core gateway tools between a successful approved purchase or not and is accepted in the market at this point, there is another issue that has nothing to do with biometrics: people are so weary of trumped-up security going awry and ending in personal identifiable information being hacked, many will likely stay in a wait-and-see mode at least for the foreseeable future.

    That doesn't mean Apple Pay will fail. It simply means it may take a bit for it to catch on."

    Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID, Inc, (NASDAQ: NXTD), a company launching a biometric smart wallet separate from a smartphone remarked; "Apple Pay has the potential to do well within a certain sector of the payments market. The obvious qualification is that one has to have an iPhone 6, so that will take a little time to build critical mass. Merchant terminals also need some to convert to the new NFC technology and with 10 million of them in the US it will take some time. Also certain significant vendors will not participate in the Applepay program ; notably the MCX members; 7-Eleven, Inc.; Alon Brands; Best Buy Co., Inc.; CVS/pharmacy; Darden Restaurants; HMSHost; Hy-Vee, Inc.; Lowe's; Michaels Stores, Inc.; Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Sears Holdings; Shell Oil Products US; Sunoco, Inc.; Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. These stores represent one trillion dollars of purchases so the payments market continues to be very fragmented with many vendors vying for market share."

    There is no doubt that if Apple is entering the smart wallet market, the opportunity is significant and they want their share. For consumers and investors, the smart wallet race is on and the payment industry is undergoing rapid change and there will be multiple choices and ways to benefit from this revolution and evolution.

    Original article September 12, 2014:

    http://www.investorideas.com/CO/NXT/news/2014/09121.asp

    Read this release in full at http://www.investorideas.com/news/2014/technology/10221.asp

    About Goode Intelligence: http://www.goodeintelligence.com

    Goode Intelligence works in information security, mobile security, authentication and identity verification, biometrics, enterprise mobility and mobile commerce sectors.

    About Secure Identity and Biometrics Association (SIBA): http://www.sibassoc.org

    SIBA represents vendors, nonprofits, and research institutions dedicated to responsible use of innovations, including biometrics, that protect and secure identity.

    About NXT- ID Inc. - Mobile Security for a Mobile World

    NXT-ID, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:NXTD) innovative MobileBio™ solution mitigates consumer risks associated with mobile computing, m-commerce and smart OS-enabled devices. The company is focused on the growing m-commerce market, launching its innovative MobileBio™ suite of biometric solutions that secure consumers' mobile platforms led by the Wocket™; a next generation smart wallet designed to replace all the cards in your wallet, no smart phone required. The Wocket works anywhere credit cards are accepted and only works with your biometric stamp of approval. www.wocketwallet.com

    NXT-ID's wholly owned subsidiary, 3D-ID LLC, is engaged in biometric identification that has 22 licensed patents in the field of 3D facial recognition nxt-id.com, 3d-id.net

    About InvestorIdeas.com: www.investorideas.com

    InvestorIdeas.com is a global news source for investors following leading business sectors including biometric and mobile technology as well as other leading sectors.

    Sign up for our free news alerts: http://www.investorideas.com/Resources/Newsletter.asp

    Disclaimer/ Disclosure: The Investorideas.com newswire is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by investorideas is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Investorideas is a news source on Google news and syndication partners. Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. All investment involves risk and possible loss of investment. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions, content marketing and online advertising. Contact each company directly for press release questions. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers. Disclosure: Investorideas.com has been engaged by NXTD for PR, media and news publication (five thousand per month plus 144 shares) Investor ideas is long shares. More disclaimer info: http://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp

    BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894. Global investors must adhere to regulations of each country.

    Contact:
    800-665-0411

    www.Investorideas.com

    Oct 22 12:50 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Experts And Analyst Comment On Recent Security Breaches For National Cybersecurity Month

    Experts and Analyst Comment on Recent Security Breaches for National Cybersecurity Month

    Scott Sacknoff of the SPADE Defense Index, Cybersecurity experts, Kiersten Todt & Roger Cressey, Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID and Scott L. Greiper, of Secure Strategy Group Share Insight

    New York NY- Point Roberts WA - October 16, 2014 - Investorideas.com (www.investorideas.com), a global news source covering leading sectors including cybersecurity and biometrics, issues commentary from industry experts and analysts on recent security breaches (including Home Depot and JP Morgan) as National Cybersecurity Month drives even more awareness to the issue.

    October 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

    Scott Sacknoff of the SPADE Defense Index (NYSE: ^DXS) said looking at stocks in the sector, "With increasing publicity related to network attacks, an increasing number of companies are increasing their cybersecurity investments to be proactive rather than responsive to attacks. The proof of this trend can be seen as cybersecurity companies report gains in the size of their customer base as well as growth in the contracts awarded by the large, S&P100-type firms. One can expect firms such as Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE), Cyber-Ark Software (NASDAQ:CYBR), Barracuda Networks (NYSE:CUDA), and Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) to be among those that should benefit."

    Scott L. Greiper, President of Secure Strategy Group, LLC. told us, "The growing list of big-name hacking victims will support the broad secular growth being enjoyed by many companies in the cyber security sector. Our SSG Small Cap Homeland Security Report for the first half of 2014 documents the strong performance of small caps in this sector. We anticipate growth will continue as the cyber threat and related legal concerns are taken seriously by more and more enterprises, especially small and medium companies. To be sure, market participants need to step carefully given the presence of some inflated valuations and shifting technology requirements that can have rapid and significant impacts on certain providers."

    Cybersecurity experts, Kiersten Todt & Roger Cressey, Liberty Group Ventures commented, "National Cybersecurity Month has been dominated by news reports of successful attacks in cyberspace. Millions of accounts, addresses, names, phone numbers, and other valuable data have been stolen. Recent high profile cyber breaches into Home Depot and JP Morgan, in particular, have demonstrated the diverse and pervasive threats that businesses face. What are some of the key lessons from these significant breaches?

    Corporate board members are now being held responsible and accountable for breaches. Corporate leaders must view Cyber risk as a risk equal to credit, liquidity, and operational risks. Assessing risk is an enterprise-wide endeavor, not merely a department, division, or company activity. The complexity of cybersecurity interdependencies is a growing challenge for companies to understand and manage. Recent corporate breaches also reflect an increased diversification of threat actors who have significant capabilities and have exposed the difficulty in discerning whether a cybersecurity adversary is a nation-state or a sophisticated criminal organization. Companies should assume they are targets of a complete range of adversaries and intentions.

    Employee behavior is a primary corporate vulnerability - spearphishing remains the primary way adversaries can infiltrate a network. Educating employees is the foundation of effective corporate cybersecurity and is often neglected. Private organizations should not expect the government to identify threats first; information sharing between the public and private sectors is essential to maintaining security and companies must commit to continually improving methods for information sharing.

    Every company can learn from past breaches and apply the best practices and lessons learned upon which industry and government have agreed. One tool that companies have already begun to use effectively to manage cyber risk, enterprise-wide, is the application of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. In light of the recent court ruling requiring companies to take "reasonable efforts" on cybersecurity, application of the NIST Framework can be viewed as doing so.

    No company can stop every cyber threat to its organization; companies will continue to be breached and the adversaries will continue to be more creative and opportunistic in finding vulnerabilities to exploit. Tools and technologies that help organizations more effectively manage cyber risk will become essential for companies to prosper in the current threat environment."

    Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID (NASDAQ: NXTD) said, "Companies need to approach cyber security from a holistic standpoint. Personnel, hardware and software all play a role. Authentication is a major factor. Passwords have been proven to be ineffective and biometrics are increasingly being used as a means of authentication of personnel. Authentication should also rely on at least two factors to allow access. Behavior of staff with access to sensitive information needs to be monitored. Do they have outside internet access? Can their behavior invite breaching attacks? Companies should also look at keeping sensitive information in an encrypted format. Here at NXT-ID, we are developing technologies that not only require dual authentication for access control but also dynamic pairing codes that change for each enquiry, making it very difficult for attackers to gain access to sensitive information."

    National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

    More info: http://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month-2014

    Read this release in full at: http://www.investorideas.com/news/2014/cybersecurity/10161.asp

    Investorideas.com has created a global cybersecurity stock directory for investors to research the sector. http://www.investorideas.com/Companies/HomelandDefense/Stock_List.asp#CyberSecurity

    About InvestorIdeas.com:

    InvestorIdeas.com is a global news source for investors following leading business sectors including cybersecurity.

    Follow Investorideas.com on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/Investorideas

    Follow Investorideas.com on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Investorideas

    Sign up for our free news alerts

    http://www.investorideas.com/Resources/Newsletter.asp

    Become an Investorideas.com Member and use our online stock directories to research stocks - including cyber, biometric and mobile payment stocks http://www.investorideas.com/membership/

    Disclaimer/Disclosure: The Investorideas.com newswire is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by investorideas is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Investorideas is a news source on Google news and Linkedintoday plus hundreds of syndication partners. Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. All investment involves risk and possible loss of investment. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions, content marketing and online advertising. Contact each company directly for press release questions. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers. Disclosure: Investorideas is compensated by NXTD five thousand per month plus 144 shares for PR, media and news publication. .More disclaimer info: http://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp

    BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894. Global investors must adhere to regulations of each country.

    800-665-0411 - Source - www.Investorideas.com

    Oct 16 2:04 PM | Link | Comment!
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