Integra's Orders Nearly Halve in January

London-listed Russian oil-field services firm Integra said Wednesday that its order book almost halved in January year on year, as energy companies rushed to cut capital expenditure because of falling oil prices.

Integra said in a presentation for investors that its order book totaled $602 million in January, compared with $1.14 billion in the same month of 2008. The book, consisting mainly of drilling contracts, shrank across all segments.

The orders are both signed contracts and tenders won.

Integra said sharply falling oil-export revenues at the end of 2008 made some oil companies cut their capital expenditure plans, which are now expected to be between 20 percent and 30 percent lower in 2009.

The trend has reversed this year after tax changes in Russia's oil industry and the depreciation of the ruble, which has lost more than one-quarter of its value against a euro/dollar currency basket since August.

"Substantial improvement in upstream economics implies that a reversal in downward trend in capex revision is likely to happen in mid-2009, provided that oil prices stabilize and the ruble continues to weaken," Integra said.

Integra, Russia's largest oil-services company, also said it had cut its debt to $324 million in February 2009, down from $535 million in first half of 2008, mainly with internally generated funds.

A deal to refinance debt maturing in the first quarter of 2009 is in the final documentation stage, it said.