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Conoco Betting on

Conoco Betting on

HoustonStreet Exchange, a Web-based exchange and portal for trading wholesale energy products, got another shot in its capital arm through an equity investment from Conoco Inc., the country's fifth largest integrated energy company. The investment marks a major commitment by Conoco to trade crude oil, refined products (such as heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel) and natural gas on

The Conoco alliance is the fourth in a series of recent investments major energy companies have made in HoustonStreet. On April 6, global venture capital fund kRoad Ventures LP and international energy and utilities company Vivendi SA took an equity stake in Portsmouth, NH-based HoustonStreet. Other major industry players that recently committed capital, liquidity and strategic guidance to HoustonStreet include Sithe Energies Inc., Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Co., and Equiva Trading Co., the U.S. trading arm of Shell, Texaco and Saudi Aramco's downstream alliances, Equilon and Motiva.

Conoco's commitment to trade on will add a significant amount of trading volume to the site, HoustonStreet said. As part of the deal, Conoco will also provide strategic guidance on continued site enhancements, based on user feedback and changing market dynamics.

"To have one of the leading integrated energy companies in the world select HoustonStreet validates not only our technology, but also our vision for the future of real-time B2B exchanges," said Brian King, vice president, crude oil and refined products at HoustonStreet. "Our partnership with Conoco will leverage our ability to provide efficiencies that extend well beyond the trading floor."

Joe Fisher, Houston

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