Featured in the Inverness Courier News Article 18 July 201

The highland team behind new US company has struck black gold in America after securing a multimillion-dollar oil deal in Indiana.

Ziyen Energy, a division of Ziyen Inc. which was founded by Inverness-born Alastair Caithness, has just secured more than US$36 million of oil reserves in the Midwestern state.

The deal includes seven existing oil producing wells worth more than US$6 million dollars of proven reserves, with potential for 20 new oil producers on undeveloped reserves on the site worth more than US$30 million.

Mr. Caithness credits Ziyen’s new director of oil intelligence, fellow Highlander and Black Isle resident Shane Fraser, with helping secure the deal.

“When I brought Shane Fraser on board to run the new energy division of the company, I was expecting great things, but didn’t expect a US$36 million contract on the books in the first few months,” he said.

Mr. Caithness added that he hopes this is just the start of great things for his California-based company with plans to grow Ziyen’s assets to more than US$500 million in the next 18 months.

Part of the key to this will be bringing Scottish technical expertise to the US oil industry.

Shane Fraser – Director of Oil Intelligence

Originally from Inverness, Mr. Fraser is highly experienced oilfield engineer with more than 28 years’ experience, including 21 years with Royal Dutch Shell in the North Sea and Syria.

He has gone on to work with a number of other multinational companies on various major projects, and lives in North Kessock with his family.

“In the 1970s and 1980s, Scotland invited the US to come over and teach us about the oil industry and how to develop marginal fields in the North Sea,” Mr. Fraser explained.

“Over the past 30 years the technology we have developed in Scotland for deep water drilling is now world leading, and we are bringing that technology back to the US in order to make expensive or redundant oil fields very profitable again.

In places like America where there’s been a glut of oil, there has historically been a lot of waste. We’re able to use technology from the North Sea to make sure we can get every drop.”

Even then, Ziyen’s oilfields sites can still produce energy.

“The field we are looking at in Indiana is 200 acres and we are looking at one in California that is 246 acres, so we are looking at tapping into the renewable side because there is plenty of room there for solar or wind power developments,” he said.

Mr. Caithness believes that Scottish experience can now help the US meet its own energy needs.

“For a long time the US has been dependent on cheap foreign oil. However, with the increase in renewables and by utilizing the latest technology developed in Scotland, we at Ziyen Energy believe the US will be 100 percent self-sufficient within the next five years,” he said.

Mr. Caithness and Mr. Fraser are not the only Highland members of the Ziyen team. Brand development manager Mingus Johnston is also from Inverness and is the son of Russell Johnston, former MP for the area.