Oil And Gas And ... Edelweiss?

Switzerland has no natural resources apart from its Alpine natural gas producers, scenic beauty and water. If you watch the following video, you can join those four legged producers as they contentedly add flavour to Switzerland’s famed pure mountain air.

Oil and gas are otherwise nonexistent except for gas produced from recycled decomposable waste - biogas - in a country that is also very environmentally conscious. Yet despite that lack of physical resources Switzerland is home to some world leaders such as Trafigura and Vitol. Both are very large oil and gas traders and they also own enormous midstream assets around the world such as this LNG import project which Trafigura is involved with in Pakistan.

Neither company is listed so we cannot invest in them in the traditional way.

In that earlier article on Switzerland I also mentioned:

Innovation. Switzerland is the world's number one innovator based on patent applications per head filed with the European Patent Office: 973 per million people compared with 133 per million for the US.

Start-up friendliness. IMF research puts Switzerland in the number one position due to the legally friendly framework. This is supported by the universities, with many entrepreneurs emerging from some of Europe’s top business schools. That list includes the University of St GallenIMD in Lausanne and the business incubator part of the renowned technical university, ETH in Zurich.

A new leader is emerging from among those being nurtured at that incubator:

Tomorrow's world leader: UniSieve.

UniSieve is a company with patents applied for their platform technology focusing on separation applications. Globally, over 10% of the total energy consumed is used for separation processes. For the purification of natgas and petrochemicals fractionation plants are employed, like the Mt. Belvieu plant  owned by one of my listed investments; ONEOK (NYSE:OKE) in the US.

UniSieve is aiming to supplement, extend or replace currently installed distillation infrastructure with membrane units that promise to save a major portion of the enormous operating costs and carbon dioxide emissions that are a concomitant of that current technology.

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Disclosure: I am long BCKDY, OKE, UniSieve.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any ...

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James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Thank you to all who read and especially to those who made a comment on my article. Most of us are naturally be interested primarily in the opportunity for investing today and, in the context of this article, that is Burckhardt Compression.

Equally important however is UniSieve. Its potential is immediate - although it is not yet quite ready to profit from that - and huge. The environment benefits are very important and the oil and gas industry is waking up and doing something about that which will take it to UniSieve. But what will drive them there in droves is the cost savings. It is easy to sell a product that demonstratively adds to profits with a relatively short pay-back time. Plus that product will generate an ongoing service income stream for UniSieve for years after the initial product sale.

I will endeavour to keep those interested posted on progress. James

Duke Peters 2 years ago Member's comment

Good stuff.

Mike Nolan 2 years ago Member's comment

Interesting idea to buy the securities directly from the Zurich exchange. However, I wonder what the tax ramifications of that are.

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Burckhardt pays a 1.8% dividend. I do not know about the tax affairs outside Switzerland but if there is a withholding tax here I assume that can be offset elsewhere under doubler tax agreements. James

Doug Morris 2 years ago Member's comment

I hadn't realized the degree to which LNG is penetrating the shipping industry. Could be worth my taking a deeper look...

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

There is a bit more about what Burckhardt is doing in South Korea here:


James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Hello Doug, it certainly is worth a deeper look as those new regulations are coming into effect soon. Many ships are getting old and are due for replacement soon. Many of those will be built in South Korea and Burckhardt is on the spot to take advantage of that in that country. James

Joe Black 2 years ago Member's comment

I had read some good info about this by another contributor, Michael Molman. You can follow him and James to learn more.

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

That you for the link to Michael Molman. I shall look him up, We can all learn from each other. James

Bill Myers 2 years ago Member's comment

I believe Israel is the land of milk and honey, not Switzerland. But good article either way.

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Israel maybe that but Switzerland is the Land of Milk and Money. I live in Switzerland but, unfortunately, don’t have oodles of money.....yet. My choices in the article hopefully will change that

Bill Myers 2 years ago Member's comment

Lol, I had totally misread that to say "honey" not "money." Sorry.

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

I know there are some super companies in Israel - many listed on the Nasdaq - and plenty of money but did not know about milk too. I think I will stick with our alpine stuff... James

Susan Miller 2 years ago Member's comment

I admit James Hanshaw, your enthusiasm here is a bit contagious!

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Let’s enjoy it together. I enjoy the researching for my writing and meeting readers that enjoy reading what I write. James

Dick Kaplan 2 years ago Member's comment

You wrote: "Neither company is listed so we cannot invest in them in the traditional way." So how does one invest in these companies?

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Hello Dick, thank you for reading my article. Unfortunately I do not know the answer to your question. Trafigura has a section for investors on its website but I have never looked at that because the kind of investor is likely to have many more pennies than I. I am invested in Burckhardt and hope to become one in UniSieve. James

Alexa Graham 2 years ago Member's comment

Didn't realize Switzerland was so beautiful. and nice cows :)

James Hanshaw 2 years ago Author's comment

Hello Alexa, thank you looking at my article and commenting. Switzerland is incredibly beautiful and the environment is carefully nurtured. There are also many very old towns and the centres are well preserved. Some of the buildings have the years when they were built on them, many in the 1300s. If you ever come this way I will show you around my home town, Zürich. Home to bankers - the Gnomes of Zürich - and the canton (state) that it is the capital of is home to those companies in my article and many others. James