Precision Drilling posts bigger-than-expected quarterly loss

(Reuters) - Precision Drilling Corp PD.TOPDS.N reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as increased spending at the Canadian oilfield services company overshadowed higher day rates of its U.S. rigs.

Expenditure on expansion more than tripled to C$15.8 million, while maintenance spending was four times higher than a year ago at C$13.1 million.

“During the quarter, we activated eight rigs in the U.S. and currently have 78 rigs running with visibility for four to six additional activations in the coming weeks,” Chief Executive Kevin Neveu said in a statement. nGNXp1C5l

Revenue from rig utilization per day rose 10 percent to $21,795 in the United States while falling marginally to C$22,072 in Canada.

Oil producers from Western Canada have been hurt by wider discounts of the region’s heavy oil as transportation bottlenecks make it harder to send the crude to U.S. refineries.

Net loss widened to C$47.2 million ($36.20 million), or 16 Canadian cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from C$36.1 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had on average estimated a loss of 14 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 13.7 percent to C$330.72 million.

Reporting by Karan Nagarkatti in Bengaluru; Editing by Supriya Kurane