Alcatel-Lucent acquires Optoplan, enhances submarine subsidiary's focus on oil and gas industry

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has taken another step to enhance its submarine cable business Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) status in the oil and gas production industry segment by reaching a deal to acquire Optoplan, a provider of 4D permanent reservoir monitoring (4D PRM) solutions.

While financial details of the deal were not revealed, Alcatel-Lucent said it plans to close it "shortly."

What's valuable about 4D PRM technology is that it requires the permanent installation of seabed sensors to carry out frequent 4D seismic surveys of oil or gas reservoirs, collecting data that can be used by operators to monitor how oil, water and gas move in a reservoir over time. When this data is processed it can help create detailed maps of underground geological structures, show where wells should be drilled and how reservoirs can be drained to recover as much fuel as possible. 

By acquiring Optoplan, ASN will be able to offer oil and gas companies a fully integrated 4D PRM solution, including design, manufacturing, assembly and marine installation. ASN said this combination "will allow oil and gas companies to boost their oil recovery ratio, extend the life of their oil fields and improve the safety of their operations."

This deal comes at a transitional time for ASN.

Earlier this month, Alcatel-Lucent reaffirmed that it would launch an initial public offering for ASN in the first half or 2015, but the exact timing will be driven by market conditions. Although Alcatel-Lucent would retain a majority stake in ASN, a successful IPO would provide resources to expand the business further into the oil and gas market.

Similar to the recent sale of its enterprise business, the IPO of ASN is part of its overall drive to exit what it says are low-growth businesses.

For more:
- see the release

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