(Reuters) – Oilfield services company Petrofac Ltd said on Thursday it saw a recovery in new orders as an uptick in oil prices boosted project activity, and cut its full-year capital budget for the second time.
Oilfield service companies had been hurt by weak demand as subdued oil prices forced exploration and production companies to cut capital expenditure and defer or cancel contracts.
Petrofac, which designs, builds, operates and maintains oil and gas facilities, said it secured $5.2 billion in new orders so far this year and it continued to see a high level of tendering activity in its core markets.
The company said backlog stood at $10.3 billion at Nov. 30, reflecting a recovery in new order intake, offset by progress on existing portfolio of projects.
Petrofac also cut its full-year capital expenditure guidance to about $175 million from the $200 million-$250 million range.
The company said trading was in line with expectations and net debt was expected to be around $850 million at Dec. 31, lower than the $1 billion it reported as of June 30.
The Times reported on Sunday Petrofac hired consultancy Bain & Co to explore options for its North Sea operations, including a sale, after The Telegraph reported last month that U.S. oilfield services companies Schlumberger and Halliburton and a Middle Eastern company were among the firms circling Petrofac. (http://bit.ly/2C27SsY)
Petrofac also said on Thursday its Chairman Rijnhard van Tets was planning to step down at the May 2018 annual general meeting after an 11-year tenure.
He will be succeeded by current senior independent director René Médori, the company said.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)