Last week Expro International Group PLC ( announced the acquisition of the oil and gas business of CiDRA Corporation (, a manufacturer of sonar-based flow measurement solutions. Below, Flow Research ( provides some analysis of what this deal means to the flow measurement industry.

Sonar is one of two emerging technologies of flow; the other is optical. While CiDRA’s oil & gas business is not the only industry where its sonar flowmeters can be applied, it is the industry that CiDRA got started in. It is significant that CiDRA is retaining its sonar product line for minerals processing, oil sands, and pulp & paper.

It is not surprising that an emerging technology of flow, such as sonar, is in demand, especially as it applies to the oil & gas industry. According to Flow Research data, the market for flowmeters sold into the oil & gas industry grew with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of better than 14 percent from 2003 to 2007. If the current high price of crude oil is sustained, this growth rate could be even higher in 2008 and beyond.

The oil & gas portion of CiDRA’s sonar technology fits in with the Expro Group, which is an oil and gas well management company. This leaves CiDRA with at least three industry groups to pursue on its own. It remains to be seen if CiDRA will decide to hold on to its sonar flowmeters for these three remaining groups, or whether these will also become a takeover target. The status of the Expro Group itself is up in the air, as several companies, including Halliburton, are currently looking at acquiring the Expro Group.

This report was abstracted from a report issued by Flow Research’s Worldflow Monitoring Service. To subscribe to this service, please visit Flow Research also manages a Web site devoted to sonar flow technology at