April 27, 2017 / 6:38 AM / 4 months ago

Weir Group's Q1 orders rise as drilling activity picks up

April 27 (Reuters) - Weir Group Plc, a maker of pipes and valves for energy and mining industries, said like-for-like order input for its oil and gas unit rose 50 percent in the first quarter, helped by increased drilling activity in North America.

Original equipment orders rose 56 percent on a like-for-like basis in its first quarter ended April 26, while aftermarket orders rose 48 percent. Order input for its minerals unit also rose 10 percent.

Oil companies have had to adjust to lower prices after crude prices tumbled from a peak of over $100 a barrel in 2014 but a recent uptick above $50 a barrel has spurred output, especially in the United States.

Drillers added oil rigs for a 14th week in a row, extending an 11-month recovery that is expected to boost U.S. shale production in May in the biggest monthly increase in more than two years, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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