WorleyParsons to invest $303m in oil & gas expansion

WorleyParsons CEO Andrew Wood

Australian engineering firm WorleyParsons will spend $303 million (£182 million) to acquire UK-based oil & gas firm AFW to expand its presence to the North Sea marketplace.

The ASX-listed company plans to fund the acquisition through a $322 million, pro-rata entitlement offer.

WorleyParsons will issue nearly 25 million shares as part of the offer, and hopes to utilise its strengths as a market leader in the maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) space to bring new opportunities to the UK Continental Shelf.

“AFW UK represents an attractive acquisition for WorleyParsons,” chief executive officer Andrew Wood said.

“AFW UK is a world-class integrated solutions business with best-in-class MMO capabilities and an excellent track record of international expansion.”

North Sea oil & gas reserves represent a significant sum for the Scottish and UK economy as a whole.

Though barrel prices have seen a sharp decline in the last two years, the sector is seeing signs of a rebound.

In March, the UK’s largest new oil field was discovered 100km west of the Shetland Islands, with an estimated yield of 1 billion barrels equivalent.