Spotlight: Expro fires up

Expro, the gas and oil field surveyor and manager, is a minnow compared to the big oil companies, but has a firm place in the deepwater market, particularly in the North Sea.

But as FD and chartered accountant, Eric Wooley and the board reveal interims this Wednesday, they are hoping a recent international spending spree will bring the benefits of an expected worldwide offshore recovery.

Britain may still have 24 billion barrels worth of its North Sea oil reserve left to exploit, but the big players are looking further afield for less fragmented and cheaper reserves.

The Reading-based company this summer bought two international companies for £6.6m, Production Testers International (PTI) and Houston-based engineering consultancy Surface Production Systems (SPS), to prepare for any upturn in the sector.

Wooley said: ‘It is increasingly in Houston where you hear of future opportunities in the worldwide market, and we believe that increasing our engineering presence there will be an important step forward for our business.’

The purchase came as oil price fluctuations and sector cuts in capital expenditure led to the worst company results this summer since floating in 1995, with turnover down 12 per cent to £136m and pre-tax profit falling 25 per cent to £14.9m


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