Sondex Forms New Drilling Tool Company

Sondex plc, a leading international technology supplier to the oil and gas industry, has formed a new company – Sondex Drilling Tools Inc – to embrace its broad range of measurement while drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling (LWD) instruments.

The move follows the recent acquisition by Sondex of Bluestar Tools, a Canadian-based business specialising in the design, manufacture and supply of such instrumentation and tools for drilling operations. The maximum consideration of the acquisition, including sales-related earn-out, was CA$22.75 million (£11.0 million).

Bluestar's tools are complementary to the MWD and LWD tools supplied worldwide by Aberdeen-based Geolink which was acquired by Sondex in June 2004. The suite of Geolink and Bluestar tools are being integrated under the renamed banner – Sondex Drilling Tools – to provide a wider range of options for customers of Sondex's drilling division. The technology is available through, and supported by, all Sondex regional offices with central support from Sondex Drilling Tools in Canada.

The acquired Bluestar product line includes three notable tools:

--Well Tracer survey tool – a programmable positive pulse instrument used for monitoring vertical wells. This tool can operate at up to 10 degrees of inclination.
--The Pilot MWD – a full positive pulse telemetry system with a rotary connector that eliminates interconnects and enables the operator to attach modules trouble-free. The surface system for the tool is based on a touch screen panel personal computer, offering wireless communications across the well site.
--Positive, retrievable and reseatable Pulser. This tool is able to deliver a push-pull force of approximately 150 lbs while maintaining power efficiency. For a standard MWD operation, the batteries will run for over 400 circulating hours.

Martin Perry, Chief Executive of Sondex, said: "This important acquisition has not only enhanced our presence in Canada and the USA, where Bluestar has enjoyed rapid growth, it has significantly broadened our range of tools used in drilling operations. The Bluestar equipment, which can reduce drilling time and improve productivity, will now be promoted globally through our international distribution network."