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Petrofac Order Backlog Slips as Iraq Engineering Work Slows

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Petrofac Ltd., a U.K. oil and gas engineer focusing on the Middle East, said its order backlog declined in the first half as the flow of new projects slowed.

The company expects a backlog of $9.1 billion at the end of the month, compared with $10.8 billion at the end of 2011, it said today in a statement. Petrofac may report a drop in cash balances to about $700 million from $1.5 billion after starting projects that had received advances.

“We’ve seen a little bit of slippage in some geographies, for example in Iraq,” Chief Financial Officer Tim Weller said on a conference call. “We’re targeting about $6 billion in new orders for the year, and in the first half we’ve had about a third of that. We’ll probably see things pick up over the next few weeks.”

Petrofac, expanding in West Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America to counter weaker growth elsewhere, won a so-called production enhancement contract at the Panuco field in Mexico this month. The company is on course to deliver net income growth of at least 15 percent this year and aims to double earnings by 2015, it said in the statement.

Petrofac fell 0.8 percent to 1,346 pence in London trading. The stock has lost 23 percent since the end of March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Swint in London at bswint@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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