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Chevron Technology Ventures Joins BIO

Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp., has become a member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

Chevron Technology Ventures has recently announced strategic collaborations with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (earlier post) and with the University of California Davis (earlier post) to research and develop next-generation production technologies for biofuels.

Chevron Technology Ventures previously this year outlined an alliance with the state of California and Pacific Ethanol to study the use of E85 in state-owned vehicles as well as a collaboration with The Georgia Institute of Technology aimed at making cellulosic biofuels, biodiesel and hydrogen viable transportation fuels (earlier post).

As part of a major integrated energy company, Chevron Technology Ventures’ membership in BIO signals that industrial biotechnology has reached a tipping point. Biotechnology holds the keys to making biofuels and bioproducts cost-effective through the development of new feedstocks, novel enzymes, and fermentation technology.

—Jim Greenwood, president & CEO, BIO

Chevron competitor BP joined BIO in June, becoming the first fully integrated energy company to do so. (Earlier post.)

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.



Chevron is hedging bets against the future. The current energy inductry view is for biofuels to have a secure foothold by 2010, and mature sometime in the 2050-2060 timeframe, 2 generations from now. This is faster than earlier (some just a few years ago) projections. This is also slow, and might be on the conservative side. As 3 billion people join the OEDC, or at least become NIC (newly industrialized countries), energy consumption is going to increase. They will likely want automobiles too. Air travel will increase with wealth, as will demand for resources. OPEC (sans Lybia due to recently lifted exploration+exploitation embargo the past 15+ yrs) may be overstating its economically/technologically recoverable reserves, and we could be in for a surprise next decade. This is where some investment Big Oil makes today, may make for some supplies 10-20 yrs down the road, and possibly with handsome profits. Not bad, not bad at all (at least for Chevron).

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