More pain in the oil patch CanElson Drilling halves dividend cuts capital

CALGARY — CanElson Drilling Inc. said Monday it will reduce its quarterly dividend by 50%, defer the completion of three new drilling rigs, and reduce its capital budget by 80% as a result of low crude oil and natural gas prices.The Calgary-based company says activity remains relatively strong its expects both activity and pricing levels to decline in 2015 in response to what appears to be a prolonged decline in global oil prices.CanElson said it expects to reduce the active rig count — with the biggest reductions in Saskatchewan and North Dakota.Our continued financial discipline will allow CanElson to weather the impact of sustained low commodity pricesIts capital program will fall to $12.9 million from $63.9 million and its quarterly dividend fall to three cents from six cents per share but the company says CanElson has well-positioned itself to withstand price cycles.“Our modern fleet of drilling rigs and our continued financial discipline will allow CanElson to weather the impact of sustained low commodity prices,” said Randy Hawkings, CanElson’s president and chief executive.Is this the end of the oil market as we know it?Oil storage piles up in Hardisty, but price gap leaves traders at disadvantageThe company says 36 drilling rigs, representing 72% of its fleet, are currently active but the number is expected to fall.It also says construction of three rigs — which were to contracted to a customer — has been delayed indefinitely and negotiations with the customer are ongoing. The company had spent $13.6 million on components for the rigs as of Dec. 31.The company’s next financial report is scheduled for March 2, when 2014 12-month and fourth-quarter results are issued. read more

Gauge of US economy posts modest 02 per cent February gain matching

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – An index designed to predict the future health of the economy rose by a modest amount for a second straight month, indicating the economy’s momentum may have slowed.The New York-based Conference Board said its index of leading indicators rose 0.2 per cent last month, matching the January Increase. The gains in both months were the smallest since the index rose by just 0.1 per cent in August.Analysts said that the smaller increases over the past two months may be signalling a period of more moderate activity.“Weakness in the industrial sector and business investment is holding economic growth back despite improvements in labour markets and consumer confidence,” Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said Thursday.The leading index is composed of 10 forward-pointing indicators. Seven of the 10 indicators increased in February with the biggest support coming from the spread on interest rates, gains in stock prices and an increase in building permits.The three indicators which subtracted from growth were weekly unemployment benefit applications, weekly manufacturing hours and the index for new orders tracked by the Institute for Supply Management.Growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, slowed to an annual rate of just 2.2 per cent in the October-December quarter with many economists expecting activity in the current quarter will be around that level. Forecasters expect a bounce back to growth rates around 3 per cent for the rest of the year based on a belief that strong employment gains will boost consumer spending, which accounts for 70 per cent of economic activity. Gauge of US economy posts modest 0.2 per cent February gain, matching previous month’s advance by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Mar 19, 2015 8:41 am MDT read more