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Oil service company orders at £1.2bn

EXPRO, the oil services firm which employs around 1200 people in Aberdeen, has built up a record £1.2 billion order book, helped by business wins in areas such as the North Sea.

The Berkshire-based firm said its European division had received a welcome boost from several contract extensions in the North Sea and a new award for work on a subsea well.

The company, which specialises in managing the flow of oil and gas in wells, is benefiting from strong activity levels in an area where firms are trying to maximise production to meet strong demand.

Founded in 1973, Expro says it produced the first UK oil from the Argyll Field on June 11, 1975.

Chief operating officer Mike Jardon said the company's European arm is sitting on record order books.

Highlighting solid prospects for the oilfield services sector, Mr Jardon said Expro is well positioned for growth.

Expro said it will invest around £12m in new bases and infrastructure upgrades in areas including the UK this year. It did not break down where the money will be spent.

The company has also capitalised on strong activity levels in other oil and gas markets around the world.

Expro has expertise in areas such as deep water and subsea developments, in which industry spending is increasing.

The firm said its North America order book increased significantly and it won new business in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

In the nine months to December 31, Expro doubled operating profits to $152m (£90m) from $74m.

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