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    Aker Solutions acquires managed pressure drilling specialist MPO

    Aker Solutions announced Feb. 27 that it has acquired Managed Pressure Operations International, Ltd. (MPO), a company that has developed the next generation of continuous-circulation, riser-gas handling and managed pressure drilling (MPD) systems.

    Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. served as exclusive financial advisor to MPO, an NGP Energy Technology Partners portfolio company, on its sale to Aker Solutions. MPO currently employs 100 people in operating subsidiaries in Singapore, Dubai, Jakarta and Houston. Its revenue in 2012 was estimated at approximately US$30 million.

    “MPO has proven technically superior products and the ability to adapt and cater to a client’s specific needs,” said Thor Arne Håverstad, head of Aker Solutions’ drilling technologies business. “We are pleased to include their offerings in Aker Solutions’ portfolio of products, systems and services. The company has a solid reputation as both a product and a service provider, and already provides services to major drilling contractors and oil companies.”

    MPO provides technologies within the emerging MPD segment. In addition to managed pressure drilling systems, MPO has also developed a new-generation riser-gas handling system to capture and safely handle gas in the riser.

    The main rationale for using managed pressure drilling is to improve safety and efficiency, enable access to new fields with challenging drilling conditions, and enhance the life of mature fields. Aker Solutions reported that it aims to integrate the MPO MPD system in its rig design and will supply the equipment as part of complete drilling packages.
     
    “Managed pressure drilling is a key safety technology for exploration drilling, high-pressure/high-temperature prospect development, and ultra-deepwater pre-salt carbonate reservoirs, as well as a drilling efficiency tool when used consistently like other game-changing technologies, such as the top drive,” said Charles Orbell, who co-founded MPO in 2008.

    “Currently, deepwater exploration drilling is exposed to challenges related to the issue of small gas volumes with high pressure flowing into the riser and escalating through the riser to the surface, causing potentially dangerous ‘gas kicks,’” said Christian Leuchtenberg, co-founder and chief technology officer of MPO. “MPO has developed a riser-gas handling system that includes a quick-closing annular blowout preventer connected to the top of the riser, which can capture and safely transfer this gas off the rig.”

    Aker Solutions provides oilfield products, systems and services for customers in the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company’s technologies span from reservoir to production and through the life of a field.

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