At Balance Sells Minority Interests to Smith International
At Balance B.V. has entered into an agreement to sell a minority interest to Smith International, Inc. At Balance is owned by Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 BV. Subject to approval by European regulatory authorities, the transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2007. The transaction will give At Balance access to Smith pressure equipment and services.
Operators seeking to extend the life of their mature reservoirs and develop new fields with hazardous pressure conditions are turning to Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) as a solution. At Balance, a technology-based provider of MPD services offers automated pressure control systems that enable operators to overcome conventional drilling limitations in narrow pressure margins. Their real-time systems dynamically control bottomhole pressure throughout the drilling process to eliminate potentially critical well control events that cause lost circulation, wellbore instability, and stuck pipe.
"This transaction will position Smith with a complete MPD system to control the pressure profile throughout the wellbore," said Bryan Dudman, President of Smith Services. "We look forward to jointly providing Automated Pressure Drilling services with At Balance and delivering real-time pressure control to customers facing these drilling challenges around the world."
John Samuell, President and CEO of At Balance said, "At Balance has helped oil companies extend the life of mature fields and reduce drilling cost and risk with Automated Pressure Drilling services. Working with Smith we will competitively expand and strengthen our worldwide support for automated pressure control to expand and strengthen oil companies' drilling capabilities."
At Balance B.V., based in The Netherlands, supplies Automated Pressure Drilling(TM) services and is exclusive provider of the Dynamic Annular Pressure Control(TM) system, an award winning product for real-time, automated pressure drilling.
Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 B.V., managed by Kenda Capital B.V., is an investment fund focused on accelerating the development and deployment of new technologies across the energy sector. Kenda Capital and the Fund maintain a unique technology relationship with the Shell Group. Major investors in the Fund are the Shell Group, Coller Capital and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
Smith International, Inc. is a leading supplier of premium products and services to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. The Company employs over 18,500 full-time personnel and operates through four principal business units -- M-I SWACO, Smith Technologies, Smith Services and Wilson.
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