WEIR Group has said that the visibility of orders remains limited in the key North American market as its customers adjust spending intentions because of the oil price declines.

The information was revealed as senior officials from the Glasgow business made a presentation to analysts at Weir's oil and gas headquarters and pressure pumping facility in Forth Worth, Texas, in the United States.

Leading the delegation was Andrew Neilson, director of strategy and corporate affairs and Paul Coppinger, divisional managing director of Weir oil and gas.

Other key executives in the division such as David Paradis, Franck Deguere and John Mathena were also there.

The presentation looked at Weir's pressure pumping and pressure control activities in recent years and was designed to reassure the analysts that the engineering group will be able "to manage and react swiftly to the expected decline in activity levels in 2015."

Trading in the division through October and November was said to have been broadly in line with trends seen in the third quarter of the year.

However Weir admitted: "Forward visibility remains limited as customers in North America continue to evaluate their response to recent oil price declines."

Drilling and activity levels are said to have "remained robust" which has helped Weir's aftermarket business which specialises in the repair and servicing of equipment already in use.

But the oil price fluctuations are thought to have been a factor in original equipment orders dropping back to levels seen at the start of this year.

Weir said: "Oil price uncertainty contributed to November original equipment orders falling back."

In his part of the presentation Mr Neilson pointed out the long term growth potential of shale in North America and around the world.

He highlighted that aftermarket demand has grown steadily every year since 2009 with the greater intensity of operations placing additional demands on equipment.

The value of the market Weir serves was said to have grown from less than £3 billion in 2010 to in excess of £8bn by 2013.

Mr Neilson also gave an outline of a number of new products, including next generation fracturing pumps, which will be launched over the next three years.

Mr Coppinger said revenue from US shale oil is around 22 per cent of the group total.

He went on to say costs in the industry have fallen steadily in recent years and pointed out research from UBS suggesting 80 per cent of shale developments are economic even if oil prices were at $70 per barrel.

According to Mr Coppinger drilling rigs are now being used for more hours each year with the majority of sites running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mr Degueure talked about how Weir plans to grow its pressure control market share particularly through growth into the Middle East and Australia.

It is currently the number four player in the $6.5bn North American market with the international market said to be worth an additional $3.4bn at the moment.

Mr Neilson concluded that the oil and gas division was well positioned for sustainable profitable growth.