November 7, 2011 / 11:51 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-Ensign Energy Q3 net profit doubles on robust drilling activity

* Q3 EPS C$0.42 vs C$0.21 year ago

* Total revenue up 39 pct

* Expects activity levels in Q4, Q1 to remain strong (Adds details, shares)

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Ensign Energy Services Inc’s third-quarter net profit nearly doubled, helped by robust North American drilling activity, and Canada’s No. 2 oilfield services provider forecast continued strong demand in the fourth and first quarters.

Improved field conditions in Canada allowed operators to address the pent-up demand for oilfield services after a particularly wet second quarter through much of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, the company said in a statement.

In July, Calgary, Alberta-based Ensign said it acquired 30 land drilling rigs from U.S. company Rowan Companies Inc to expand into the oil-rich shale fields in southern United States.

For the July-September period, net income rose to C$64 million ($62.9 million), or 42 Canadian cents a share, from C$32.3 million, or 21 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, it earned 34 Canadian cents a share.

Revenue for Ensign, which provides drilling, production testing and well services to the oil and gas industry, rose 39 percent to C$475.7 million.

Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 30 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$465.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue in Canada jumped 52 percent, while U.S. revenue rose more than 44 percent in the quarter.

Revenue from international operations was up 12 percent as operations in Australia returned to normal after the floods.

The company said it does not expect to resume operations in certain areas of the Middle East and North Africa where operations have been suspended until it is safe for personnel to return.

Ensign shares closed at C$15.35 on Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1 = 1.018 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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