March 12, 2012 / 12:22 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-CanElson Drilling profit jumps; declares dividend

March 12 (Reuters) - CanElson Drilling Inc’s fourth-quarter profit jumped as it benefited from a drilling boom in North America and the oilfield services company declared its maiden dividend.

The company, which operates its rigs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Permian Basin of west Texas and the Williston Basin of North Dakota, posted an income of C$11.2 million ($11.3 million), or 15 Canadian cents a share.

The company posted a profit of C$3.3 million, or 7 Canadian cents a share a year ago.

Revenue rose more than two times to C$64.1 million.

Canadian oilfield services companies have benefited from heavy drilling activity at home as oil companies continued to expand their exploration budgets in the face of high prices. U.S. spot oil prices rose 17 percent in the October-December period.

CanElson, which has 36 operating rigs, said 80 percent of its rigs are operating in oil resource plays.

The company’s initial quarterly dividend of 5 Canadian cents a share is payable on April 12 to shareholders of record on March 26.

Its larger peers like Calfrac and Trican have also raised their dividends recently, signaling that drilling activity will remain strong through the year.

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