Scottish engineering firm Weir Group reported a 10% increase in orders for its oil and gas division in the third quarter.
Weir − which makes pumps, wellheads and valves and has bases in Dyce and Portlethen – achieved the feat despite a slowdown in North American activity levels.
Fracking fleet utilisation fell below 60% and the number of drilled but incomplete wells reached record levels in the region, Weir said.
International markets remained challenging, but did show some early signs of recovery with project quotation activity increasing.
The division now expects to deliver a strong increase in full year revenues with operating profit in the range of £90-£100 million.
North American completions activity should return to growth in the first half of 2019, driven by the replenishment of exploration and production budgets.
Weir chief executive Jon Stanton said: “Oil and gas delivered good year-on-year order growth but from late August was progressively impacted by the temporary slowdown in activity in North American onshore markets that was prompted by industry capacity constraints in the Permian basin.
“As we work through the current slowdown, which we and our customers view as a short-term pause in growth, we will continue to invest in our people and technology to ensure we fully benefit from the anticipated upturn in 2019 when E&P budgets replenish, Permian pipeline capacity expands and pressure pumping fleet utilisation increases.”