Newpark Resources, Inc. is a unique niche provider of integrated site, environmental and drilling fluids services to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. The Company?s key markets generally correspond to the principal natural gas producing markets of North America. Newpark provides unique, high performance and environmentally safe drilling fluids systems, as well as other products and chemicals used in drilling for oil and gas, and removes and disposes of waste created in the oil and gas drilling and production processes. These products and services are marketed as a unique Minimization ManagementTM service, the integrated combination of Newpark?s drilling fluids, recycling, waste processing, disposal and mat rental services into a single product offering designed to reduce the customer?s cost of drilling. The company also provides temporary work sites and related access roads necessary to support the heavy loads involved in oil and gas drilling operations, and site closure and remediation upon completion of those operations. These sites have historically been constructed using Newpark?s patented pre-fabricated wooden mats, which interlock with each other to transfer the concentrated load presented by a drilling rig or other heavy equipment over a large surface area. Beginning in 1999, the Company has begun the process of replacing its fleet of hardwood mats with a new composite plastic mat, which offers substantially better safety and strength while improving the economics of that business. DURA BASE? , the composite mat system, made from virgin and recycled polymers, is lighter and stronger while cost competitive with existing mats. Newpark was recently awarded a U. S. General Services Administration supply contract to provide these mats for military, emergency response, and other governmental applications, and anticipates that these new mats will prove popular in these new markets.