£5 million investment boosts growth plans

Paradigm Drilling Services has secured a £5 million injection from new investment partners – and the prospect of additional finance to fund acquisitions.

Buckthorn Partners and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), the corporate venturing subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, have announced the investment package for the Aberdeenshire-based drilling and intervention technology specialist.

The move will fuel Paradigm's strategy to broaden its product portfolio, extend its geographical activity and bolster its research and development (R&D) activities. The initial investment is £5 million, however, further funding could be made available as the business looks to expand its portfolio of innovative technology.

Paradigm Drilling Services is targeting turnover of £10m in 2015 – a projected rise of 54% on its December 2014 year-end run rate of £6.5 million. The company employs 52 people and plans to recruit an additional 10 in the next six months.

Paradigm operates from a 40 000 ft2 facility at Thainstone, near Inverurie, and plans to open another large facility in Aberdeen to accommodate its drilling tools and R&D functions.

The business has a number of new tools in the development stage, with a particular focus upon technology to enhance the industry's capability in extended reach drilling.

Paradigm Drilling Services, which has a growing list of patented technologies, has three main groups of products and services: hole enlargement, horizontal drilling systems and drilling tools.

Fraser Innes, Managing Director of Paradigm Drilling Services, said: “We are delighted to welcome Buckthorn and SAEV as investors in our business. Despite the gloomy market conditions at present, we have an exciting range of growth opportunities ahead in technical and geographic terms.

“With the support of our new investors we will also accelerate the development of our Horizontal Drilling System which has the potential to change the way that all horizontal wells are drilled. Technology like this will be essential to improve the economics of drilling horizontal and extended reach wells and this is more relevant today than ever.”

Mark Chaichian, Managing Partner of Buckthorn, said: “We are delighted to be investing in Paradigm Drilling Services. The company represents exactly the type of business in which we look to invest. There is a clear plan for use of capital to drive growth that is underpinned by a strong market position and product line. The management team has a proven track record for success and is committed to taking the company to the next stage. We very much look forward to working with Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Fraser and his team in building a very successful company together.”

Nabil Al-Khowaiter, SAEV CEO, said: “We are delighted to have completed this investment in Paradigm Drilling. This is a company with a very strong team and slate of commercially available products today, while the extended reach drilling systems being developed should be truly game-changing for demanding drilling applications."

Adapted from press release by Joe Green

Published on 16/02/2015

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