Weir steps up US shale gas business with $675m deal
Weir Group, the FTSE 100 pumping and drilling equipment maker, is expanding its presence in the booming market for North American shale gas, after agreeing to buy Seaboard Holdings, the Texas wellhead maker, for $675m (£431m).
Weir, whose shale gas "fracking" equipment is in such high demand it has raised its full-year profits forecast, said the deal would broaden the range of kit it makes to extract unconventional gas and oil reserves.
The group's heavy-duty pumps are used to force sand, chemicals and water into the shale rocks to release the gas, in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Meanwhile Seaboard's equipment is used to control the pressure in the wells.
Keith Cochrane, the chief executive of Glasgow-based Weir, acknowledged there was a supply bottleneck in the shale gas industry, which is growing so fast that customers must wait several months for the delivery of fracking kit.
"One of the key challenges is providing the pumps and related flow control for fracking. This acquisition doesn't relieve the bottleneck, but it does give us a broader exposure, with us providing the pumps and Seaboard controlling the wellhead," Mr Cochrane said.
The shale gas industry has taken off in the US in the past few years as the refinement of existing techniques has made it economically viable for producers to extract fossil fuels.
The process is highly controversial, having been linked to earthquakes in areas such as Blackpool as well as water pollution elsewhere.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 2 Orange Is The New Black has not been cancelled – it was a hoax
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...