WOOD Group has won a multi-million dollar contract to work on an oil refinery in Lincolnshire which will help the company reduce its reliance on the depressed North Sea market.

Aberdeen-based Wood has been appointed by Total to provide maintenance services on the Lindsey refinery for five years, with the option to extend for two more.

Chief executive Robin Watson noted the contract provided a reward for Wood’s efforts to use expertise developed supporting oil and gas firms offshore to win work in other sectors.

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The company has been working on Total’s North Sea production facilities for more than 20 years.

Wood Group has been hit hard by the slump in new development activity in the North Sea amid the downturn triggered by the sharp fall in the crude price since 2014.

On Monday the company completed the £2.2 billion acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler, which forms a key element of Mr Watson’s strategy to take the group into new markets and extend its geographic reach.

“We are strategically focused on leveraging our proven offshore track record of strong service, to broaden our downstream footprint in the UK; and this contract win achieves this,” said Mr Watson of the Lindsey win.

Total took control of the refinery in 1999 after acquiring Fina.

In February 2015 the group announced plans to reduce the output at the plant by 50 per cent and to cut job numbers from 580 to 400. Analysts noted there was overcapacity in the European refining market.

It planned to invest around £180m over five years to help increase efficiency at the plant.