Australian engineering giant Worley Parsons has pushed further into the advisory business, snapping up Houston based resource management consulting outfit MTG in its first acquisition since the company launched its new strategy to create a global advisory business earlier this year.

In a release, Worley announced it has agreed to purchase MTG for an undisclosed sum, with the acquisition expected to be completed by the end of October.

Operating across the US, UK and Australia, MTG has delivered more than 500 projects across exploration, production and refining within the chemicals and petrochemicals sector since being founded in 1983 and boasts high-profile clients including Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Total Energy, Conoco Phillips, Suncor Energy and Nexen.

For Worley, the move provides a critical presence in the US and UK for its newly launched ‘Advisian’ global advisory business, which includes infrastructure and resource consulting outfit Evans and Peck and which has a strong presence in Australia and Asia.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers veteran Dennis Finn was appointed to run that division in May.

The acquisition also comes at a challenging time for the company, which saw its after tax profit slashed by 22.7 per cent as the winding back of resource related capital expenditure in Australia impacted all of its divisions.

In April, the company slashed 1,200 jobs as it simplified its structure into three business lines. Compared with June last year, Worley now employs 4,200 fewer people.

More encouragingly, however, project wins in recent months include the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the expansion of Columbia’s main oil pipeline; a further EPCM contract under a brownfield services outline agreement for the Woodside Operated North West Shelf project in Western Australia; and an engineering and project services contract to support BG Group subsidiary Queensland Gas Corporation’s ongoing expansion of its coal seam gas facilities and LNG plant located on Queensland’s Curtis Island.

Worley chief executive officer Andrew Wood welcomed the move.

“This acquisition provides us with another very important building block in the growth of Advisian as we build a global advisory business that will make a material impact to our customers’ operational and financial performance,” he said.

MTG partners David Henderson and Jim Nichols said the combined capabilities of the two groups would enable the MTG team to broaden its range of service offerings and expand its geographic footprint.