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Robert Rapier

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 Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor — and he has been a featured expert on 60 Minutes and The History Channel. 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.

Analyst Articles

Tapping the Permian’s Vast Hidden Wealth

by Robert Rapier on May 22, 2018

West Texas land appears to be worthless, but there’s value of many sorts lurking beneath the surface. Here’s how to tap it.

Profiting from the Permian Basin Bottleneck

by Robert Rapier on May 15, 2018

Growing oil production in the Permian Basin is threatened by looming pipeline capacity constraints. But certain energy players are poised to profit.

Tax Efficient Investing

by Robert Rapier on May 8, 2018

Paying attention to the tax implications of your investments can add several percentage points to your annual returns. 

Safely Juicing Your Returns With Options

by Robert Rapier on May 1, 2018

Before buying shares of your favorite company, consider getting them on sale by acquiring them with cash-covered puts. You will make extra money while awaiting the purchase of your shares.  

High Oil Prices Aren’t Necessarily Bad

by Robert Rapier on April 24, 2018

As U.S. exports increase, high oil prices are turning into less of an economic negative for the country. If the current trends continue, high oil prices may turn into a net positive for the U.S. economy.

Oil Is Breaking Out

by Robert Rapier on April 17, 2018

Oil company stocks are moving higher, but they are lagging the 50% gain in the price of oil over the past eight months. 

Profit From Volatility

by Robert Rapier on April 10, 2018

Volatility has returned to the market after a nine-year absence. Investors can use that volatility to pick up quality companies at discount prices. 

Master Limited Partnerships Are On Sale

by Robert Rapier on April 3, 2018

Most of the energy sector has shown signs of life in recent months, but someone forget to invite MLPs to the party.

Safely Betting Against Tesla

by Robert Rapier on March 27, 2018

A lot of investors are shorting Tesla. Here is how to profit if Tesla’s share price falls, at far less risk than selling shares short. 

Tesla’s Story Deteriorates

by Robert Rapier on March 20, 2018

Last week Bloomberg reported that electric vehicle company Tesla’s production is only a fraction of what the company predicted last summer.

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