ENGINEERING giant Wood has hailed the success it has achieved in the Middle East where the oil services market remains an important source of business as the group pursues growth in the low carbon energy sector.

Aberdeen-based Wood said it enjoyed a year of strategic growth in the Middle East region in 2021, during which it won business in the area worth $580 million (£425m).

The company said: “The contracts awarded in 2021 will see Wood’s teams across the Middle East work together with a range of valued partners and clients to unlock conventional and low carbon energy supply, optimise energy production and processing, and extend onshore and offshore asset life.”

The contracts cover work in Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE.

HeraldScotland: Picture: WoodPicture: Wood

The announcement highlights the importance of oil services work for Wood, which has long been active in that market in the Middle East.

A spokesperson for Wood said: “The majority of the $580m relates to contracts covering a broad range of services, including decarbonisation, across upstream, midstream and downstream conventional energy.”

Wood said significant awards in 2021 included a multi-million dollar contract with Saudi Aramco to deliver engineering and project management services for the Safaniyah and Manifa oilfields in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: North Sea oil and gas will be needed for years alongside renewables says Scottish engineering giant

Wood also highlighted a contract win in Iraq, where it will help a key client enhance production and extend the life of assets.

The Wood spokesperson said the $580m figure also includes a number of contracts covering the renewables, mining, transportation, and water sectors.

Under chief executive Robin Watson, Wood has moved to reduced its reliance on oil services work by expanding in markets associated with the expected transition to a lower carbon energy system, such as solar power and hydrogen fuel production.

HeraldScotland: Wood chief executive Robin Watson Picture: WoodWood chief executive Robin Watson Picture: Wood

However, in a recent interview with The Herald, Mr Watson said he expected oil and gas to remain an important part of the energy mix “over the next decade, if not generation”. He said Wood had no plans to quit the North Sea oil services business.

The company expects to be able to use its expertise to help firms reduce emissions associated with oil and gas production.

READ MORE: Is North Sea industry crying wolf over calls for windall tax on profits amid gas price surge?

Regarding the contracts won last year, Craig Shanaghey, Wood’s President of Operations across Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are committed to partnering with our clients to drive down the cost and the carbon intensity of producing the energy we need today, while working together to explore the innovations that will enable us to realise our shared vision for a more sustainable future.”

Wood said that as a result of last year’s success in the Middle East it had completed the mobilisation of over 600 new employees in the area, with recruitment underway for an additional 200 roles.

Wood also revealed that it has won a contract to support the extension of the metro system in the capital of Chile, Santiago.

The work concerned includes the detailed design of six stations, which Wood said would require architecture, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation expertise.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

READ MORE: Wood to support £1bn English schools building programme

In a trading update issued in November Wood said it expected revenues to total approximately $6.4bn in 2021.

Wood will issue a full year trading update for 2021 today.