Petrofac Shares Rise on $3.4 Billion Turkmen Contract

Petrofac Ltd., the oilfield services and engineering provider, rose to a record after it started work on the $3.4 billion second phase of the South Yoloten project in Turkmenistan.

This phase of the contract is scheduled to last more than two years and will bring gas exports to 20 billion cubic meters per annum, Petrofac said in a statement in London today. Shares climbed as much as 2.7 percent to a record 1,598 pence and traded at 1,580 pence as of 2:11 p.m. local time.

The award brings Petrofac’s order backlog to about $12 billion going into 2011. It was set to reach the highest in the company’s history even without the Turkmen contract, Chief Executive Officer Ayman Asfari said Dec. 17. The stock has gained more than sevenfold since the company floated in 2005.

“Whilst we have substantial experience of working in the region, Turkmenistan is a new market for us, albeit one with considerable potential, where we would like to build a sustained presence,” said Maroun Semaan, chief operating officer, in today’s statement. “I look forward to developing our relationship with Turkmengas as we move into the second phase of our work on this important development.”

Turkmenistan holds the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves. The central Asian nation last December awarded service contracts of as much as $9.74 billion to companies including China National Petroleum Corp., LG International Corp. and Petrofac to develop South Yoloten, one of the largest natural-gas deposits.

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