M-I, known as M-I SWACO, supplies drilling and completion fluids and additives to oil and gas companies in more than 75 countries worldwide. Its fluids cool and lubricate drill bits, remove rock cuttings, and maintain the stability of the wellbore. Through M-I's SWACO division, the company provides pressure control, rig instrumentation, and drilling waste management products and services. It is also a worldwide producer of barite and bentonite used by the oil and gas and industrial markets. Drilling fluids provide the company with more than half of its sales. M-I SWACO is owned by Schlumberger Limited.
As a service provider to the global oil and gas industry, M-I SWACO does more than two-thirds of its business outside the US. Specifically, the company's business in West Africa and the Middle East is making great strides.
Formerly a joint venture 60% owned by Smith International, the company became a wholly-owned unit of Schlumberger following Smith's acquisition by that company in 2010.
Growing its technical portfolio, that year the company acquired Idrabel Italia, an environmental technologies firm specializing in production tank cleaning and petroleum sludge treatment as well as oil recovery and volatile organic compound control for the petroleum and petrochemical industries. The company focuses specifically on solving problems related to hydrocarbon recovery from tank sludge while preventing toxic gas emissions.