Saipem, which is 43 per cent owned by Italian oil major Eni, said its order backlog hit a record of Eur15.4bn, while the value of new contracts won during the three months to the end of March totalled Eur2.25bn.

Saipem says significant onshore deals included the one-year lease of two rigs by Saudi Aramco. The state-run firm also chartered a jack-up rig for three years as part of its offshore drilling programme.

The Italian firm said it also won a deal to transport and install subsea pipelines for Rashid Petroleum Company in Egypt.

Saipem’s shares closed down 4 percent at Eur29.1 on 23 April on the Milan stock exchange.