Precision Drilling: demand up but prices down

CALGARY — One of Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling companies is seeing renewed demand for its services but at lower prices.

Calgary-based Precision Drilling (TSX:PD) says it activated 17 rigs in its U.S. fleet, bringing the total to 56.

Precision Drilling also had 91 active rigs in Canada at the end of the quarter, up from 50 at the beginning of the year.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 was up 14.6 per cent from last year, but Precision Drilling’s net loss also increased due to higher operating expenses and lower pricing for all its North American businesses.

Net loss was $22.6 million or eight cents per share, compared with $19.9 million or seven cents per share a year earlier. Operating loss was $12.9 million, compared with a year-earlier operating profit of $4 million.

Precision Drilling had $345.8 million of revenue, up 14.6 per cent from the first quarter of 2016. Cash provided by operations fell, however, to $33.8 million from $112.2 million.

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