Amec is understood to be planning a significant acquisition in the energy sector after selling off its built environment assets.

It is believed that Amec is running the rule over at least six companies with the aim of establishing itself in energy markets, including the nuclear sector.

Experts say that the Wood Group, Petrofac, parts of Aker Kvaerner and Kellogg Brown Root could be in the frame.

Alastair Stewart, an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort, Amec’s broker, said in a note this week that he believed the group was “contemplating a major acquisition, potentially even doubling the size of the group”.

Dresdner Kleinwort said it believed Amec could raise £1bn for an acquisition, including an estimated £265m from further disposals and £315m from its cash reserves.

Amec is expected to complete the divestment of its built environment businesses in the next two weeks, once the sale of its building services business is finalised. It completed the sale of its property and construction businesses to Morgan Sindall this week.