It’s hard to imagine anyone better suited to covering the energy-investment waterfront than Robert Rapier.
Robert is no armchair analyst—he has two decades of in-the-trenches experience in a wide range of fossil fuel and biofuel technologies, including refining, natural gas production, gas-to-liquids, ethanol production and butanol production.
During a six-year stretch at ConocoPhillips, Robert ran a team of engineers in Scotland working on oil and gas projects in the North Sea.
For two years, Robert was an efficiency expert in a Texas petrochemical plant. The process changes he implemented saved the facility $9 million a year. He later worked as the Engineering Director for a Dutch environmental-technology company and provided engineering support for a Chinese facility the company was constructing.
Robert was also a butanol engineer in Germany for the Celanese Corporation, where he designed a novel butanol unit that cut production costs by $5 million per year.
In all, Robert has spent more than a dozen years working on liquid fuels technologies. Along the way he’s picked up five patents, including one for a breakthrough way to convert ethane into ethylene (U.S. Patent 7,074,977).
Now, in addition to guiding readers to timely energy plays in his twice-monthly Energy Strategist, Robert travels the world evaluating startup energy companies for deep-pocketed investors. After grilling management and assessing the technology on-site, he makes a go/no-go investment decision. His wealthy private investors and hedge fund backers trust him to make the right choice for the same reason we do: his vast real-world experience in just about every facet of the energy industry. If Robert votes thumbs-up, millions of dollars flow into these cutting-edge outfits.
Robert earned his master of science in chemical engineering and a bachelor of science in chemistry and mathematics (double major) at Texas A&M University. He tells us he was “this close” to finishing his Ph.D. before he decided he was having a lot more fun making money in energy stocks.
A prolific writer, Robert’s articles have appeared in Forbes, The Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor. His new book, Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil (Apress, 2012), helps investors sort through doom and gloom, hype and misinformation to understand the true costs, benefits and trade-offs for each of our major energy options.
In what little spare time he has left, Robert consults for a number of energy projects, including biodiesel, ethanol, butanol and biomass gasification facilities.
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