Read Well Services Appoints New Group VP, Managing Director

READ Group has announced the appointment of Fraser Louden as READ Group's vice president and managing director of READ Well Services Ltd.

Fraser has over 20 years experience in the global oil and gas industry, working in a variety of roles in UK, North America, Nigeria, China and Brazil. Fraser joins at a pivotal time in the company's development as READ Well Services Ltd drives forward the commercialisation of their unique expandable technologies and consolidates their position within the cased hole logging and borehole seismic sectors. Having previously worked for the company, Fraser takes over the leadership from Paul Hazel who recently left READ Well Services after 12 years.

READ develops and delivers new, niche, wellbore technologies to, and in partnership with, the global hydrocarbon exploration and production industry and is certified to ISO9001-2000 quality standard. Fraser will be responsible for leading READ Well Services' operations in the UK and Europe.

Ola Krohn-Fagervoll, Chairman of READ Group ASA said, "We are delighted that Fraser is joining us in such a critical role. He has vast experience of the oil industry, having fulfilled roles at senior levels both in the UK and internationally. Fraser has been a champion of our leading edge technology since its inception five years ago and his appointment comes at a key stage in our commercialisation as we promote and develop our recent successes in live operations.

"Already familiar with the company, Fraser has the skill and knowledge to further penetrate the market with our unique products and expertise. In his former position as R&D manager and later as business development manager for Europe and West Africa, he was integral to our new product development and the company's expansion into the African markets. We are confident with Fraser at the helm, that we will continue to build on our position of strength in cased hole and seismic and further introduce our expandables business to a global market.

"2008 is on course to be a successful year for READ Group ASA with annual turnover expected to reach over £12 million, representing a 25% increase on last year's figures." Ola continued, "Our progress to date has been due to the continued strength of our cased hole services whilst the market uptake of our expandable technologies has trebled. In 2009, and despite the global slowdown, we forecast a further significant technology and Group growth. This growth will be driven by the continued commercialisation of our new technology, the Hydraulically Expandable Tubular System (HETS) product range and our well proven cased hole services."

Commenting on his appointment, Fraser said, "READ is an innovative and dynamic organization and I look forward, with confidence, to leading the company as their new vice president. The increased market recognition (300% revenue growth) of our expandable technologies during 2008 confirmed the value that these solutions can provide to our customers. The HETS business growth coupled with the continued consistent delivery of our established cased hole and seismic business will secure a promising and rewarding future for READ in 2009. Under my direction, READ will continue its focus on developing new and niche technologies whilst committing further investment to suites of new logging tools, equipment and personnel."