Technical information provider IHS Inc. this month acquired the assets of Exploration Data Services of the Gulf Coast (EDS) and its subsidiary, Geodigit LLC. Both maintain and market geological data covering the subsurface Gulf of Mexico. The specific properties acquired by IHS for a purchase price of $6.25 million in cash include EDS's catalog of interpreted formation tops on more than 25,000 offshore wells, and Geodigit's MMS offshore well data, base maps and other well header data.

According to a press release announcing the deal, the acquisition is in line with IHS' goal to over subsurface coverage of nearly all major oil and gas basins in North America. EDS's coverage of basins in the Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters is expected to blend effectively with IHS databases of well, production, pressure and log data as well as two other acquisitions IHS made earlier this year: Geological Data Services and Geological Consulting Services.

This acquisition certainly makes a lot of sense, as it sufficiently helps IHS expand its coverage in this topic area. If IHS wants to become the ultimate information source for this type of data, it's certainly on the right track. And purchasing assets that are already strong on their own means there will be no learning curve--both IHS and its customers will benefit from the addition of EDS's expertise immediately. The deal is also a win for EDS, which will get the security of a steady parent company in IHS and will garner more interest for its offerings courtesy of an already established IHS customer base. There's still time for IHS to close another related deal before 2007 enters the history books; and it definitely won't be surprising if another key property is added this segment of the business by the end of the year.