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Wood Group helps get Kazakh oil flowing

Aberdeen-based oilfield services company expects a modest market recovery for its sector.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Wood Group helps get Kazakh oil flowing
Oil well pumpjack in Colorado. (UPI/Shutterstock/Lilac Mountain)

ABERDEEN, Scotland, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Following three years of activity there, oilfield services company Wood Group said a $700 million contract in Kazakhstan will support the launch of a major oil field.

Wood Group announced it secured a contract with Tengizchevroil, a venture formed between the Kazakh government and Chevron, to provide automation and control support for the Tengiz oil field.

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Robin Watson, the chief executive of Wood Group, said in a statement the contract supports "one of the world's largest industrial automation projects and we are pleased to be providing the solution that will help to enable Tengizchevroil to meet its vision of a 'flawless startup.'"

In July, Chevron, its consortium partners and the government of Kazakhstan announced support for a $36.8 billion plan to expand production at the Tengiz oil field. One of the largest fields in the region, the investment could boost expected production by around 40 percent to 850,000 barrels per day by the start of the next decade.

Wood Group, which lists its headquarters in Scotland, secured a "multi-million dollar contract" in October from engineering giant Bechtel to provide some of the engineering components for a tank farm at the Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan.

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The company reported a first half profit of around $45 million, down 60 percent year-on-year. In the past year, as spending on exploration and production waned in response to market pressures, Wood Group has cut about 10 percent of its payroll. Watson said there were early, but clear, indications of a market recovery "in some areas."

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