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Petrofac’s Order Backlog Expands on Middle East Exploration

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Petrofac Ltd., a U.K.-based oil and gas engineer, forecast a 7.4 percent increase in its order backlog this year as customers in the Middle East and former Soviet Union seek to expand production.

The backlog will reach $11.6 billion by Dec. 31, up from $10.8 billion a year earlier, Edinburgh-based Petrofac said today in a statement. Net income will grow at least 15 percent in the period, the company said.

Petrofac clients in the Mideast and former Soviet nations, mainly national oil companies, are extending the search for crude to bolster state revenues as global growth wanes. That benefits Petrofac at a time when demand is weakening in the U.S., prompting competitor Schlumberger Ltd. to issue a profit warning this month as the shale-gas boom slows.

“We are well-positioned to grow next year and beyond, and we are confident of achieving our target of more than doubling our recurring 2010 group earnings by 2015,” Petrofac Chief Executive Officer Ayman Asfari said in the statement.

Petrofac declined 1.1 percent to 1,661 pence at the close in London trading, valuing the company at 5.75 billion pounds ($9 billion).

“Looking at the geographies of where we operate in, in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, analysts expect spending from our customers to grow by 10 to 15 percent” in 2013, Chief Financial Officer Tim Weller said today on a conference call.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

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

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