Santa Barbara-based Gas Reaction Technologies, or GRT, doesn’t do alchemy, but it comes pretty close.
The company, founded in 1999, has invented a process that turns natural gas that otherwise would be wasted into gasoline and other useful products. The initial advances were discovered at GRT and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
On July 21, GRT announced a deal to jointly develop its technology with a subsidiary of Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp., a $30 billion public company. Marathon also acquired a 20 percent stake in GRT.
Despite the sale of a fifth of the company, GRT will stay in Santa Barbara, said Jeffrey Sherman, the founder of GRT and its vice president of strategy and business development.
“We’re very happy with our place in Santa Barbara,” Sherman said. “We’re extremely happy with our relationship with the university,” he said, adding that the UCSB connection was “an important factor for Marathon.”