Precision off the mark as rig work drops

15 February 2013 – Onshore driller Precision Drilling plunged to a fourth-quarter loss as revenue was hit by lower utilisation of its North American land rig fleet.

The Calgary-based contractor reported a net loss of C$116 million ($115.9 million) in the quarter, reversing a year-earlier profit of $28 million as revenue tumbled 9.1% year-on-year to C$534 million.

The quarterly result was also negatively impacted by goodwill impairments and a tax asset decommissioning charge to the tune of $179 million.

The full-year net income figure plummeted 73% to C$52.3 million on 4.6% lower revenue of just over C$2 billion compared with 2011.

Precision said the reduction in revenue was mainly due to lower business activity with rig utilisation reduced in the quarter by 23% and 19% in Canada and the US, respectively, as operators cut back on gas drilling.

The company is now looking to deploy more of its rigs overseas with subsidiary Grey Wolf Drilling International having recently won a contract to use two units that will be upgraded for deep drilling in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Chief executive Kevin Neveu said Precision hopes to have seven rigs working in the Arabian Gulf region by mid-2014.

About the Author