Kentz set to bid for more LNG work at Gorgon

KENTZ, the Irish oil and gas group, said yesterday it would bid for more contracts at the Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) mining project, and saw its first-half profits rise 10 per cent.<br /><br />Chief executive Hugh O&rsquo;Donnell said the firm would put up between $400m (&pound;241m) and $500m for the contracts at Gorgon, a project led by industry giants Chevron, Exxon and Shell, to provide fuel to Asia.<br /><br />The three oil and gas groups gave their approval for the project, expected to cost $37bn, yesterday.<br /><br />Pre-tax profits at Kentz for the six months to June hit $18.5m, up from $16.8m a year before. Earnings were boosted up by a surge in contract wins, it said, while sales were flat at $329m.<br /><br />Analysts had expected the firm to post a pre-tax profit before one-time items of $44.7m on sales of $710m.<br /><br />At the end of last month, the group said it had $1.4bn of orders on its books, and that it expected those numbers to improve as the price of oil stabilises. <br /><br />The company said its trading since end-June continued to be in line with market expectations.<br /><br />The shares closed down 4.2 per cent at 194p in London last night.<br />