Newpark Drilling Fluids officially moved into its new 106,000 square foot campus on Monday, June 17. The Newpark Technology Center, located at 21920 Merchants Way, houses NDF’s new world headquarters and a 37,000-square-foot state-of-the-art research and development laboratory.
NDF is The Woodlands-based Newpark Resources Inc.’s division for drilling fluid, used to facilitate the drilling of boreholes into the earth for oil wells, natural gas wells and exploration drilling rigs. The technology center consolidates about 140 of NR Inc.’s drilling division employees from several locations across the Houston area.
"We broke ground on this project in March of 2012,” NDF President Bruce Smith said in a press release the day of the new headquarter’s opening. “It is exciting to see all the planning that went into the design and construction of the complex come to fruition. The new facility places our industry-leading fluids laboratory and technical staff in the same location as our management, administrative, engineering, operations, sales and marketing groups."
John Beltz, director of marketing for Newpark Drilling Fluids, said the technology center has plans to expand in coming months, as Newpark continues to increase its presence in North America and worldwide.
“It’s a very exciting move for us,” Beltz said. “It speaks to the fact that we are growing not only in North America, but globally, expanding internationally, too. So we’re growing our footprint everywhere throughout the world, and that’s the way we will continue to grow our revenues and our capabilities to service our customer-operators.”
According to Beltz, NDF and parent-company Newpark Resources – which took in $1.038 billion in total revenues last year – stands out against larger competitors such as Schlumberger and Baker-Hughes due to its status as the only company that singularly focuses on drilling fluids technology in the industry, as opposed to being a division of a larger conglomerate.
“This new building facility that we just moved into yesterday is 100 percent dedicated exclusively to the art and business of drilling fluids, research, development and technology,” Beltz said. “It’s our showcase facility, and that’s the way we’re going to leverage ourselves within the industry. It’s a great place for customers and operators to come and see what we do, and why we’re the leader when it comes to drilling fluids technology.”
Although NDF is still settling in at its new facility, it’s no stranger to the I-10 West/Energy Corridor area – its previous office was located six miles east at the Park 10 Place office park. With Houston-area energy industries and their employees continuing to move out west, Beltz said the decision to locate the NDF’s new headquarters in the area was obvious.
“There’s a lot of expansion opportunities out here in terms of acreage,” Beltz said. “And that’s one of the great things about this new facility that we’re in. We’re sitting on 11 acres…[there’s] area for expansion and growth, and the cost to build out here versus leasing in an area like the Galleria-area or downtown I think is probably a lot more financially viable.”
The Katy Area Economic Development Council assisted Newpark with right of way and utilities issues prior the facility’s construction. Katy Area EDC President/CEO Lance LaCour said the company is representative of the type of industry the council targets for the area.
“I think they’ll have a strong economic impact,” LaCour said. “They've built a really magnificent-looking facility that is a showcase for Katy at the juncture of Mason Road and I-10. It sets a great tone for that area, and will help bring other headquarters and like-type facilities to the area.”