Aker Solutions’ boss Luis Araujo is “cautiously optimistic” about project sanctions in the second half of 2020 thanks to government intervention and more stable oil and gas prices.
Temporary measures to boost industrial activity in Norway were introduced in June and led to an increase in sanctioning activity.
Q2 highlights included letters of intent secured with Equinor for the Askeladd and Breidablikk developments, and an extension with Aker BP for maintenance work on the Ula, Skarv, Valhall and Tambar fields.
Aker Solutions won 47 front-end orders in the second quarter, bringing the total for the first half to 89, compared with 74 last year.
Twenty of the studies were related to renewable energy and low-carbon projects.
Orders totalled £595 million in the second quarter, bringing the backlog to £2.3bn.
But that wasn’t enough to prevent Aker Solutions swinging to a pre-tax loss of £85m in the first half, against profits of £17.5m in H1 2019.
First-half revenues fell 20% to £1 billion, while ebitda sank to £32.5m from £107m.
Chief executive Mr Araujo said: “Despite challenging conditions on an unprecedented scale, we managed to keep productivity up and complete key deliveries to our clients.
“I am proud of all Aker Solutions employees around the world, who showed commitment and perseverance in a difficult time for many.”
He added: “For the second half of the year, we are cautiously optimistic about an improved outlook for project sanctioning, supported by government measures to boost activity and more stable commodity prices.”
Aker Solutions expects activity to be driven by the “home market and low carbon agenda”.
Earlier this month, Aker Solutions confirmed plans to cut 44 offshore jobs after client Equinor shelved a UK North Sea project due to the oil price rout and Covid-19 outbreak.