Fremantle-based Mermaid Marine Australia Ltd has signed a joint venture agreement with Toll Holdings to provide supply base services in Broome. The two shareholders, MMA and Toll, have formed a new company "Toll Mermaid Logistics - Broome" and will begin work immediately servicing a range of clients operating in the highly prospective oil and gas region, Browse Basin. Mermaid managing director Jeff Weber said "The joint venture recognises the strengths of both companies and will provide our clients with world class services to support their current and emerging requirements in the Browse Basin region"."Work has already commenced storing drilling casing for our clients and lease agreements are being completed with the Broome Port Authority which will put the new company in an ideal position to service the expected future growth in activity. "Contracts covering integrated supply base services are being finalised and commencement of new drilling campaigns is expected within the next month. "The Broome Supply Base operation will be managed by Brian Philp who is a member of the Broome business community and has more than thirty years of experience in oil and gas exploration and development. At market close, shares in Mermaid were up almost 4 per cent to 71 cents. In August, Mermaid announced a post-tax profit of $9.2 million, doubling its operating earnings in the process. The annual result was further boosted with a $4.4 million pre-tax profit after the company sold its Manning business to Integrated Group.
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