NORTH Sea oil services heavyweight Petrofac has underlined its confidence in the prospects for the market after winning more contracts for work in the area.

Petrofac has been awarded two contracts to provide engineering and construction work on existing North Sea facilities amid signs the recovery in the area is gathering pace.

North Sea believer eyes £500m prize after confounding doubters

Oil and gas firms slashed spending on upgrade work on existing facilities and on new projects in response to the plunge in the crude price from 2014.

However, some appear to have loosened the purse strings with respect to such brownfield projects following the partial recovery in the oil price from late 2016, amid moves by major exporters to support the market.

Petrofac said its success in winning a series of North Sea contracts this year rewarded its focus on brownfield projects.

Oil firm highlights 'significant' North Sea opportunity

The company said it is investing in its engineering team and brownfield management system in Aberdeen in support of its ongoing digitalisation strategy.

Last month Petrofac said it was “actively growing” its engineering team in Aberdeen after winning a three-year contract to provide engineering and construction services in the North Sea.

The company is thought to employ around 900 people in Aberdeen and 2,000 working offshore in the North Sea.

Petrofac said yesterday it had won a three-year contract from EnQuest covering the oil and gas firm’s assets in the North Sea and onshore, without disclosing a value.

EnQuest has expanded in the North Sea after acquiring significant assets such as the Magnus field from BP.

North Sea is 'attractive investment proposition' says oil firm eyeing Shetland development

Industry watchers have predicted that transfers of ownership will stimulate activity in the North Sea. Independents may invest in projects that would be too small to interest giants.

Petrofac also said it had won a two-year contract from a firm working in the Southern North Sea without elaborating.

Aberdeen-based engineering giant Wood has said it expects to achieve moderate growth in the North Sea this year.