future of O&G

Houston energy exec launches well-plugging fintech company

This new Houston startup is tackling the increasingly dangerous problem of methane-emitting inactive oil and gas wells. Photo courtesy of OneNexus

Long-time Houston energy executive Tony Sanchez has launched a new fintech company that aims to help oil and gas exploration and production operators decommission orphaned wells and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

The company, OneNexus Environmental, was formed in partnership with Houston-based private equity firm BlackGold Capital Management LP and offers exploration and production companies "the equivalent of a universal life insurance policy for their oil & gas wells," according to a statement.

Through OneNexus's model, operators will be able to transfer the title of their wells over to OneNexus, thus absolving all Asset Retirement Obligations (AROs) related to decommissioning inactive wells that are known to release dangerous levels of methane. OneNexus will then assume the financial and operation obligations around properly plugging the wells in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner.

"The drastic decline in energy demand that arose from the pandemic forced many operators to walk away from their wells," Sanchez said in a statement. "When orphaned wells started multiplying around the world overnight, what was previously the so-called elephant in the oilfield could no longer be ignored."

Tony Sanchez has founded OneNexus in Houston. Photo courtesy

In addition to the fintech operation, OneNexus will also introduce a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that will call on the international oil and gas community to support the innovative solutions to suppressing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Existing solutions are inadequate," Sanchez adds. "We started a company that is capable of tackling the problem head-on and that enables energy companies to proactively be part of the solution."

Sanchez was the founder and former CEO of Sanchez Energy Corporation, a multi-billion dollar energy production company with assets in the Eagle Ford Shale, and has held finance and analysis positions at JP Morgan Investment Banking and Zix Corp. (NASDAQ: ZIXI). He has brought over energy industry specialists and financial professionals to build out his team, with subject matter experts in petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, data science, and systems management.

OneNexus joins a growing group of Houston organizations focused on clean energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Recent research from Rice University showed that the city is uniquely ready for the energy transition.

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Building Houston

 
 

Kate Evinger joins the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss Pokatok Labs, a sportstech program in its first year. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston is having a moment when it comes to sports. Fresh off the announcement of Houston being selected as a FIFA World Cup host in 2026 and just a year away from hosting another NCAA Final Four, the city is also home to a growing sportstech hub.

And one new Houston company, Pokatok, is hoping it can help support the local sports innovation community. Pokatok, which is part of the same business family as InnovationMap and Gow Media, was founded to create momentum in local sportstech activity, Kate Evinger says on this week's Houston Innovators Podcast.

"Our mission is to help be a partner with all the exciting things happening in Houston — from the startup entrepreneurship side to the things we're seeing in the sports community — to continue to elevate and uplift the voices here in addition to bringing folks in from all over the world to celebrate the human experience in sports and to continue driving innovation in this space," she says on the show.

One of the ways the company is spurring sports innovation is through Pokatok Labs, a scale-up program for seed and series A startups in the sportstech space. Evinger, who leads the program as director, says the inaugural cohort has wrapped up — and the team is already accepting applications for the fall program, which will run September 20 through November 18.

"We are looking for anything and everything under the sun within sportstech — even if you're the founder of a company that may have ties to sports but you're not sure, we're happy to have that conversation," Evinger says. "It could be nutrition, health and wellness, athlete performance, fan engagement, or smart venue."

Evinger shares more about Pokatok Labs and the potential she sees for Houston to continue evolving as a hub for sports innovation on the podcast.

Listen to the interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.


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