Plexus raises $5m to ramp up Russian activities

Ben van Bilderbeek said Russia was a 'key potential market' for Aberdeen-based Plexus. Picture: Contributed
Ben van Bilderbeek said Russia was a 'key potential market' for Aberdeen-based Plexus. Picture: Contributed
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Oil and gas technology firm Plexus Holdings has raised $5 million (£3.4m) to “fast track” its expansion into the Russian energy market.

The discounted share subscription will see Russian oil and gas equipment maker Gusar take a 7 per cent stake in the Aberdeen-based firm, led by chief executive Ben van Bilderbeek.

Aim-quoted Plexus develops wellheads aimed at preventing the type of blowout behind the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster and said the agreement with Gusar – along with a licensing deal with fellow Russian manufacturer Konar – will help to diversify its revenues “away from its traditional North Sea jack-up exploration market”.

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“We are pleased to have secured additional funding for Plexus at a time when trading conditions are clearly challenging, and welcome Gusar as a new shareholder, said van Bilderbeek.

“We are also delighted to further strengthen our licensing and commercial relationship with Gusar and Konar as we advance our strategy to expand Plexus’ geographic reach beyond the North Sea, and look forward to developing with our Russian partners a range of superior and locally manufactured wellhead equipment for a variety of field applications.”

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He added: “Russia has for some time been a key potential market for Plexus. I am confident that our unique technology, which removes the weak casing and tubing hanger link from the well chain, will over the coming years play an important role in improving the integrity of drilling and production systems in this important market, particularly in potentially sensitive environmental areas where drilling activities are likely to take place in the future.

“With gas forming the vast majority of the Russian energy sector and our best in class wellhead equipment being ideally suited for the most challenging gas service conditions, this dynamic market offers considerable commercial opportunities for Plexus, Gusar and Konar.”

Plexus, which said that Gusar will be entitled to appoint a non-executive director to its board, is now in talks with Russian operators over a range of potential supply deals.