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Imdex lands Arab deal

WA-BASED drilling mud and chemicals supplier Imdex has formalised a more than US$47 million deal to supply drilling fluids and chemicals to the Middle East.

The contract is with the Saudi Arabian-based Rashid Trading Enterprises and involves secured deals with the Saudi Govern-ment-owned oil and gas supply corporation Saudi ARAMCO, the Middle East’s biggest company.

It is anticipated additional contracts to be finalised over the next two months will exceed an extra US$100 million.

The Heads of Agreement signing establishes Imdex Arabia Limited. RTE owns 51 per cent and Imdex holds the remaining 49 per cent.

Imdex has also acquired RTE’s existing barite, bentonite and cement trading activities.

RTE representative HH Al Merry wants to turn Imdex Arabia into the biggest drilling fluid supplier in the Middle East, which has more than 25 per cent of the world’s known oil reserves.

Imdex managing director Bernie Ridgeway said the Saudi-based company would benefit from that Government’s buy local policy.

If a local company is charging up to 10 per cent more than an international bidder, it will get the business.

“This transaction is not capped. It is my understanding that the number of oil and gas rigs in Saudi Arabia is going to be increased from around 25 to more than 50,” he said.

Mr Ridgeway said there was ample opportunity to grow his company’s business into other oil producing Middle Eastern countries.

He said Imdex would monitor the situation in Iraq, which was recently bombed by US and UK warplanes, but was more interested in concentrating on Saudi Arabia.

“Our business there is so big, we have to concentrate on that first. If we get that side of the business right we’ll have a good base to export into the rest of the Middle East,” he said.

“This is one of those opportunities that’s a company-maker.”

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