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Ensign profit drops 59 per cent Add to ...

Ensign Energy Services Inc. reported a 59-per-cent drop in second-quarter profit Monday, as weak economic conditions and commodity prices continue to eat away at oil patch activity.

The Calgary-based oil and natural gas driller said its net earnings were $13.2-million, or 9 cents a share, compared with $32.3-million, or 21 cents, in the same three-month period of 2008.

Revenue fell 33 per cent from $337.8-million a year ago to $226-million.

The results "reflect reduced industry activity levels and recessionary global economic conditions that have persisted through the first half of this year," Ensign stated.

Adjusted profit, which takes into account stock-based compensation expenses, was $23.1-million, or 15 cents a share, down 41 per cent from $39.2-million, or 26 cents.

Ensign said its outlook for the company, and the oil field services industry in general, is bleak.

The recession has cut demand for energy commodities like oil and natural gas, leading producers to use less of the equipment and services companies like Ensign provide.

As well, many of Ensign's customers have been struggling with financial issues of their own.

"These are indeed difficult times that have placed the oilfield services industry at a crossroads," Ensign stated.

"Survival is dependent on financial strength and the decisions made to adapt to a new operating environment."



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