FEL-100: A Platform for new successful start-ups

Posted on 30 January 2019

Florian Thaler, a three-year member of the 100 Future Energy Leaders (FEL-100) programme at the World Energy Council,  launched a new tech start-up, OilX, that looks to digitalize oil market analytics. FEL-100 inspired Florian to become an energy leader, capable of solving some of the most pressing challenges in the energy sector.

The global network of the World Energy Council and the FEL-100 community have been decisive enablers, helping  to shape the idea and lead the launch of this new oil-tech start-up.

Digital oil analytics firm OilX launched in November 2018 after many months of work on its core data offering. Everyone with experience of oil analytics is familiar with the problem of creating a solid view of global supply and demand fundamentals from available data. After 15 years, and with some of the biggest names in oil trading, Florian Thaler decided to solve the problem by switching from a data client to a data provider.

OilX was incubated by Signal Ocean, part of The Signal Group. This took them from the idea stage all the way to the developed prototype, which was delivered in September 2018, before incorporating OilX as a separate entity and branding it appropriately for the oil market.

Headquartered in London, Signal Ocean remains a key investor and technology partner, helping in the data-science side of OilX’s work and by providing global tanker-tracking data.

The core problem, is that oil market data is generally very choppy and hard to collect. Analysts using the data suffer from time lags in a big way. A good portion of the data comes in the form of national statistics, released with a time lag of up to three months. Quite challenging, since the oil market trades on a real-time live basis.

OilX bridges the gap for clients combining statistics with other new data sets including satellites and/or data from the marine intelligence sector. This delivers what they call a ‘nowcast’;  a term borrowed from meteorology and economics.

Similar to these disciplines, creating a nowcast requires consuming all available data and distilling it down to an interpretation of expected conditions.

It’s very hard for the market to understand current or past conditions, thus the need for OilX’s solution. They create actual insights into conditions, giving a real-time mirror image of the market status. It’s not a question of being right or wrong – the aim is to be scientifically rigorous so that we can deliver an accurate reading.

Read more about OilX’s new venture, inspired by the World Energy Council’s FEL-100, in the article recently published by Pitchbook:

https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/next-big-thing-oiltech