Petrofac’s Ain Salah project in Algeria to restart soon

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Petrofac’s Ain Salah gas project, delayed due to an attack in January on another Algerian gas facility, will restart in a few weeks, the chief financial officer of the oil services company said on Tuesday.

“We’ll be starting activity back on the site pretty much as soon as we get into the second half of the year,” Tim Weller, Petrofac CFO, said on a call.

“The expectation is we’ll be up to full pace in terms of construction activity by September or early October,” he added.

Petrofac reiterated that it expected “modest growth” this year.

The company has not put a number on its growth forecast for 2013. In May, it had warned it expected only “modest growth” due to the delay to the Ain Salah project having previously said it expected “good growth.”

Petrofac said operational performance had been good so far this year and net profit would be heavily weighted towards the second half reflecting project delivery dates.

The group’s backlog stood at $11.9 billion at 31 May 2013, up slightly from 31 December 2012.

Petrofac shares have lost more than 20 percent so far this year, partly in response to a fall in the oil services sector after profit warnings at competitors Saipem and Aker Solutions.

Weller said Petrofac was unaffected by the problems facing its competitors.

He said Petrofac would not be bidding for projects in Mexico’s Chicontepec basin where it had been carrying out a number of studies.

“The sub-surface infrastructure there is remarkably complex... we’re not looking to expose ourselves to that much risk,” he said.

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