Newpark Launches New Era in Water-Based Drilling Fluids

HOUSTON, TX (August 19, 2010) — Newpark Drilling Fluids today unveiled its EvolutionTM water-based drilling fluids system for Haynesville Shale operators who have long sought a clean, yet robust alternative to diesel-based fluids historically required in that area’s harsh drilling environment.

In Haynesville Shale applications to date, the EvolutionTM drilling fluid system has economically provided improved penetration rates, wellbore protection and lubricity while standing up to demanding requirements of temperature, contaminants and drilled solids.

The long-anticipated technology breakthrough was introduced to an enthusiastic audience of operators, industry analysts and media representatives. Newpark management heralds the system’s capabilities as unprecedented in prior competitive water-based offerings. But while the new system was originally conceived as a Haynesville-specific drilling fluid solution, the company believes its design concept can provide operational advantages in many other unconventional shale gas applications worldwide.

“Our EvolutionTM water-based drilling fluid system has the potential to render oil-based fluids obsolete for shale gas horizontal production intervals,” said Paul Howes, CEO of parent company, Newpark Resources (NYSE: NR). “Its development and field success further illustrates the creative innovation our R&D program consistently delivers to our customers—both operationally and environmentally.”

The new EvolutionTM system features a clay-free combination of two central components: EvoVis™, a polymeric viscosifier; and EvoLube™, a proprietary high pressure/high temperature lubricant that delivers coefficient of friction values similar to oil-based mud. Both components, and the system itself, have proven stable to wellbore temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit—even in the presence of CO2 common to Haynesville geology. Its thermal stability, contaminant resistance and overall performance differentiate the Evolution system from other water-based systems. The EvoLubeTM lubricant is credited for penetration rates exceeding those of offset wells where oil-based mud was used.

“Prudent operators are welcoming Newpark’s unique technology arrival because it provides that rare combination of both operational efficiency and responsible environmental management,” said Bruce Smith, president of Newpark Drilling Fluids. “Our people are now hard at work continuing to develop the system for expanded applications with our global customers.”