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Wood Group notches another North Sea success

Contract extension comes as North Sea energy sector faces mounting pressures.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Wood Group notches another North Sea success
Wood Group gets a contract extension for North Sea operations that it says retains jobs at a time when the regional sector faces market headwinds. Photo courtesy of Wood Group.

ABERDEEN, Scotland, April 21 (UPI) -- Scottish energy services company Wood Group said Thursday it secured a $150 million deal to help support operations at key fields in the North Sea.

Nexen, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp., extended a contract for Wood Group to provide support services for its Buzzard, Scott and Golden Eagle platforms in the North Sea. According to the Scottish company, the contract extension means 190 jobs are retained in the region.

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"Working in partnership with Nexen, we have proactively added value, maximized productivity and enhanced efficiency and safety across these assets," Wood Group Managing Director James Crawford said in a statement.

Wood Group this year cut rates paid to its North Sea contractors by about 9 percent because of negative market pressures. The company's rate reduction follows a 10 percent decrease for onshore contractors in 2014. The company said additional cuts would give the company the room needed to move through the market downturn.

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The extension for the company is the second so far this month. The Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known also as TAQA, extended its contract with Wood Group for operations in the North Sea in early April.

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TAQA last year reduced spending by 52 percent. Nexen, meanwhile, said this year it was eliminating 120 jobs from its Canadian operations.

The success for the Scottish company comes as many of its peers face mounting pressure for the sustained decline in crude oil prices, which despite recent rallies are still about 60 percent below peak levels two years ago. Aker Solutions said earlier this month it was cutting about 10 percent of its British staff as it looks to make its operations more efficient.

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