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OSLO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Global oil companies could further delay major projects as they try to save on capital, and activity in the North Sea could be lower over the next one to two years, Norwegian oil services firm Aker Solutions said on Friday.
Sharply lower oil prices could force firms to cut back spending even more and the best markets in the coming year are likely to be Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa, Aker Solutions said after reporting third-quarter earnings broadly in line with expectations.
"Major western oil companies are expected to continue exercising strong capital and cost discipline over the next one to two years," Aker Solutions said in a statement. This trend is likely to have been reinforced by the weakening oil price over the past months."
Oil prices have tumbled nearly 30 percent since June and analysts expect Brent crude to stay under $90 for an extended period, forcing energy firms to rethink expensive offshore developments, a key source of revenue for Aker Solutions.
The company's earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 8.8 percent to 617 million crowns ($89.9 million) in the third quarter, broadly in line with expectations for 607 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts. .
"Business should prove more resilient in markets such as sub-Saharan Africa and those exposed to national oil company investment trends, such as Brazil, Asia, and the Middle East," it said.
The firm's order backlog fell to 49.0 billion crowns from 53.9 billion three months earlier. ($1 = 6.86 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Anand Basu)