Oilfield services firm Wood Group reported an 86 percent drop in its profit for the first half of the year, citing, among other factors, weak contribution from the North Sea activity.The UK-based company posted a profit of $6 million, down from $45 million in the first half of 2016. Profit for the period was impacted by exceptional costs of $47.6 million.This included $25.2m in respect of costs relating to the acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler, comprising advisory fees of $19.7 million and underwriting fees in respect of new debt facilities of $5.5 million.Revenue fell to $2.27 billion, down from $2,56 billion a year ago.Presenting its result on Tuesday, Wood Group said there was a sense of recovery in certain markets despite tough conditions in the oil and gas sector overall.“Robust performance in the West including, improved activity in offshore greenfield project engineering and commissioning and modest improvement in US onshore activity, was more than offset by weaker activity in the East, where we have seen a significant reduction in projects & modifications work, particularly in the North Sea,” Wood Group said.The company expects to complete the proposed acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company expects the merger will deliver significant cost synergies of at least $170 million.To remind, the proposed merger had risen competition concerns in the UK, in the supply of engineering and construction (E&C) services and operation and maintenance (O&M) services on the UK continental shelf, however this has now been resolved, in principle.Namely, in order to address the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) competition concerns, the companies have recently offered to sell off almost all of Amec Foster Wheeler’s assets which contribute to these services in its upstream offshore oil and gas business in the UK.According to a statement by Wood Group on Tuesday, the CMA has recently approved in principle the proposed remedy.
Tailgating will be prohibited on campus for this Thursday’s football game against the University of California, Berkeley, but Undergraduate Student Government, with the support of the administration, Athletic Department and the PAC-12, is hosting a tailgate for students in Exposition Park.The tailgate will take place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. in Jessie Brewer Park within Exposition Park. It will be open to students, parents, faculty members and other fans. The tailgate will feature food vendors, inflatable obstacle courses and a beer garden for attendees that are over 21.USG President Andrew Menard has taken the lead in planning the tailgate.“We wanted to create this opportunity for students to have a place to go to have fun with their parents and have everything — for the most part — be free,” Menard said.Restrictions to on-campus tailgating for Thursday night games went into effect last year. Tailgating was instead concentrated in other areas off-campus, particularly The Row.Vice Provost for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry spoke about the issues the administration faced last year as a result of the Thursday night football game.“A number of people came to The Row and started tailgating there,” Carry said. “It just became overcrowded. There were more people than The Row could handle. So when we met with the [Interfraternity Council] leadership right after the game, they indicated to us that they had no more options. They had no more places to send all of the guests that came that were expecting to tailgate on campus.”On the night of last year’s Thursday game, several people were transported to the hospital due to excessive alcohol consumption, and a female student from Loyola Marymount University was seriously injured after falling off a platform at Sigma Alpha Epsilon. That weekend, later labeled the “worst weekend of the semester” by Student Affairs, has in part led to the new restrictions on tailgating.The primary motivation behind the new restrictions, however, is the desire to preserve the academic integrity of the university, according to Carry.“As an academic institution, it’s Thursday. It’s a class day, so we’re not going to surrender the campus to tailgating,” Carry said. “Our decision is first to respect the academic mission of the institution and to focus on classes.”Carry also said there still will be opportunities for students to tailgate, just in a different way.“Tailgating is available, but it’s just not available in front of classrooms and on campus,” he said.Assistant Provost for Student Engagement Monique Allard has worked closely with student groups to plan the Thursday tailgate in Exposition Park.“We’re really excited about putting on an activity that will be student-focused, so there will actually be something for students to do, in terms of tailgating,” Allard said.Panhellenic Council President Katherine Grabar has helped lead the Greek community’s involvement in the planning of the tailgate and the implementation of new restrictions.“Originally, PHC was going to be part of the Expo Park tailgate, but now most chapters have decided to forgo a Thursday night tailgate or dinner with the parents,” Grabar said. “Most chapters are instead, to kind of break bread with the parents, doing more of a Friday night open house and BBQ.”Reactions to the new tailgating restrictions have been mixed, particularly due to the fact that the Thursday tailgate takes place during Trojan Family Weekend.“I think, at first, it came as a huge shock because everyone thought, ‘Why would we pick Parents Weekend to do the tailgate?’ but then you look at the football schedule and holiday conflicts, and there wasn’t really a good Saturday game to do it,” Grabar said. “No one is pleased with it, but we’re moving on.”USG leaders are hoping that the tailgate in Exposition Park will alleviate some of this discontent. Menard, though disappointed that students won’t be able to tailgate on campus, is trying to make the best of it.“I understand why they’re restricting on campus [tailgating], but regardless, I’m appreciative of the fact that we have the opportunity to hold this tailgate off-campus,” Menard said.Students can find more information about Thursday’s tailgate on the USC Trojans website.