May 10 (UPI) -- The increased activity in the liquefied natural gas market bodes well for services companies that cater to onshore and offshore work, TechnipFMC stated.
The British services company reported revenue for the first quarter of $3.1 billion, down nearly 8 percent from the same time last year. Its inbound orders, however, improved in three of the last four quarters.
CEO Doug Pferdehirt said front-end engineering activities pointed to "an inflection" in oil and gas exploration and production activity. That sector was hit hard by a market downturn that saw oil prices slump below the $30 per barrel about two years ago. With U.S. action on a multilateral deal with Iran a limiting factor in oil supplies, the price for oil is flirting with $80 per barrel.
By segment, Pferdehirt said engineering and commercial activity in the liquefied natural gas market is a boost for companies like his.
"This market dynamic is very compelling for TechnipFMC given our leadership positions in both onshore and offshore liquefaction," he said in a statement.
Supermajor Royal Dutch Shell said total demand for the super-cooled form of gas has swelled in recent years. Since 2000, the number of supplier nations has doubled, while those importing it quadrupled. Trade tripled since the start of the century.
LNG offers more maneuverability when compared to piped gas because it can avoid some of the geopolitical and transnational issues associated with building infrastructure across national borders.
Island nations like Japan, meanwhile, have looked to LNG more since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. China is taking on more LNG as it's economy expands and the country looks to combat air pollution with cleaner fuels.
For TechnipFMC, its working on two trains, the parts a plant that convert gas to liquid, at a Russian project on the Yamal Peninsula. The second train of the facility could be online before the year is out.
Early work, meanwhile, continues for the company at a shipyard in Singapore for a floating LNG facility for offshore Mozambique. Italian energy company Eni started the implementation phase for the project, Coral South, last year.