Petrofac has seen the number of people it employs out of Aberdeen swell by 400 in just six months.
The international oil and gas facility service provider said its north-east-based workforce now totalled about 4,400.
Much of the recruitment is down to work Petrofac is carrying out for French oil giant Total at Sullom Voe, in Shetland, where it is lead contractor for a new £500million gas-processing plant.
The facility – an essential part of a £2.5billion project to unlock gas fields to the west of Shetland – is due to start processing gas from Total’s Laggan and Tormore fields in the second quarter of 2014.
Petrofac is developing the 500million cubic feet per day processing plant through its offshore engineering and operations (OE&O) business unit, supported by its engineering and construction division.
Keith Roberts, the company’s chief financial officer, said yesterday the project was still in its early stages but it was going well and could eventually lead to further opportunities for the group.
Mr Roberts, who retires later this year, was speaking after Petrofac delivered results showing a 6.6% year-on-year rise in net profits to £149.7million for the six months to June 30.
Pre-tax profits in the latest period slid by 28%, however, to £182million despite revenue having soared by more than 25% to £1.65billion.
Petrofac said the forecast-beating net profits were boosted by its business in Malaysia, and added that it was confident that demand from national oil firms would fuel future growth.
Profits in the FTSE 100 company’s OE&O division rocketed more than 700% – reflecting strong activity levels in Malaysia, where it has a contract to develop oil and gas facilities for state-owned oil firm Petronas.
Petrofac said that it was on course to double its 2010 earnings by 2015 – a goal announced in June – because it believed a recent contract win in Mexico validated its strategy of building up the part of its business which invests in oil fields to help national oil companies to develop reserves. The group is investing more than £300million in Mexico after winning oilfield operating contracts from state oil company Pemex.
Petrofac added that it was also on course to meet current market forecasts for the full-year and it expected to deliver like-for-like net profits growth of at least 15% during 2011. The company employs more than 14,500 people out of key operating centres in Aberdeen, Woking, Sharjah, Mumbai, Chennai and Abu Dhabi plus a further 21 offices worldwide.