The collapse of prices on the US shale gas market has led to big write downs for major players such as BHP Billiton and BP – but for oil and gas services firm Wood Group this has presented opportunities.

The Aberdeen-based business, which rents equipment and provides consultancy to the natural resources industry, bought a small US rival Duval which provides services to the Eagle Ford shale gas and oil region in Texas.

The British firm said: ‘The acquisition of Duval provides us with a robust platform for growth in the Eagle Ford shale region and increases our overall exposure to the US onshore unconventional oil and gas markets.’

Analysts at Oriel reiterated their ‘add’ recommendation and said that the deal ‘increases Wood’s exposure to the strong US shale activity’. Shares in Wood Group, which have risen almost 30pc over the past year, closed up 12p at 786p.