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Petrofac to set up in Iraq as it seeks to boost orders pipeline

BLUECHIP oil and gas services company Petrofac yesterday said it expected its backlog of contracts to be higher at the end of the year than it was at the start as its bidding pipeline strengthened.

Group backlog is estimated to be around $6.9bn (£4.6bn) on 30 June the FTSE 100 company said and by the end of 2010 it expects it to be above the $8.1bn level it stood at on 31 December.

The company said it was making good progress on the South Yoloten project in Turkmenistan and expects to make a decision on whether to convert it to a much larger contract in the near future.

Petrofac said its engineering and construction division, its largest unit, continued to bid for contracts in its core markets of the Middle East, Africa and around the Caspian Sea and was establishing a presence in Iraq, a new market for the company, as it sees near-term opportunities arising. The company said its smaller engineering, training services and production solutions division continued to see subdued activity but was on track to secure its first production enhancement contract.

Shares in Petrofac closed at 1,251p, valuing the company at £4.3bn.