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Oil and gas services company TechnipFMC wounded, but optimistic

The French contractor saw a 16 percent decline in income, but has work planned in some of the largest projects in the world.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Oil and gas services company TechnipFMC wounded, but optimistic
French energy services contractor TechnipFMC maintains optimism despite lingering market pressures. Photo courtesy TechnipFMC.

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Oil and gas services company TechnipFMC faced lingering markets pressures in the fourth quarter as revenues fell, but expressed optimism about the year ahead.

The company reported fourth quarter income of $3.68 billion, a decline of 16 percent from the same period. Sales from its subsea component were down 36 percent and the company added it was forced to take a charge of $138 million as a result of the new tax code in the United States.

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The company in July said an error in calculations meant it overstated its first quarter 2017 figures by $209.5 million.

A slump in crude oil prices in recent years meant most major oil and gas companies had to tighten the purse string for exploration and production spending. Crude oil prices started to recover from historic lows by the middle of last year, topped $70 per barrel in January, but have settled in a range around $65 per barrel for Brent, the global benchmark.

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CEO Doug Pferdehirt said the market recovery so far suggested more orders could come in, from subsea activity, to small- and mid-sized services.

"We remain confident that our inbound orders will grow year-over-year," he said in a statement.

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This week, rig company Transocean said there were still lingering pressures from the market downturn, but CEO Jeremy Thigpen said the upswing in crude oil prices from last year should lead to an increase in demand for services in the exploration and production side of the industry.

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Nevertheless, Thigpen said expected demand for ultra-deepwater services was not as strong as hoped.

TechnipFMC has a contract from Norwegian energy major Statoil for the Snorre field in the North Sea, an expansion project that's the largest ever improved oil recovery project on the Norwegian continental shelf. The French contractor has a $110 million contract from 2015 to provide some of the pipeline infrastructure for the Libra field, a giant oil field off the coast of Guyana.

TechnipFMC reported fourth quarter spending of $85.3 million. Full-year 2018 spending is outlined at $300 million, a 17 percent increase from last year.

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