Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Shares in drilling company Ensign Energy Services Inc. plunged by as much as 40 per cent on Monday amid a worldwide oil price and stock market crash.

The company, which reported a loss of $71.6-million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $155-million in the year-earlier period, was swept along in a tide that swept away as much as 30 per cent from the value of the S&P/TSX capped energy index.

Ensign stock was trading at 93 cents, down 62 cents, at 12:30 p.m. ET. It’s 52-week high was $6.45 set last April.

Story continues below advertisement

The influx of bad news for the energy sector is almost biblical, Ensign chief executive Bob Geddes said on a conference call with analysts.

“If the coronavirus and the Canadian government’s pathetic response to the blockades was not enough, the Saudis’ response to the Russians walking away from the table just cranked up the hurricane level winds even higher,” he said.

“I’m just now waiting for the seas to turn red,” he added, in apparent reference to descriptions of the end of the world in the Bible.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia slashed its official crude selling price, signalling the start of a price war after OPEC talks with Russia broke down without producing an agreement on production cuts.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said it expects global oil demand to decline this year for the first time since 2009 owing to the new coronavirus or COVID-19’s affect on world travel and broader economic activity.

Ensign’s dividend payments are “under pressure,” Mr. Geddes conceded in answer to a question on the call, adding the Calgary-based company’s board is considering whether to maintain it in view of stock price erosion and debt repayment schedules.

The company said it expects oil field activity to increase in Canada in the first quarter of 2020, but to be flat year over year in both Canada and the United States for 2020.

Story continues below advertisement

Ensign left its capital spending budget unchanged at $100-million for 2020.

Analyst Ian Gillies of Stifel First Energy said in a report he expects the huge decline in oil prices will “materially impact” Ensign’s modest activity outlook.

Ensign said fourth-quarter revenue grew to $376-million, up from $346-million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

For the full year, it said it lost $163 million on revenue of $1.59-billion, compared with a profit of $58.7-million on $1.59-billion in 2018.

Ensign acquired a 89.3 per cent stake in Trinidad Drilling Ltd. in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the remaining 10.7 per cent stake in the first quarter of 2019.

It said it now expects to realize $50-million in annual synergy cost savings from the acquisition, up from the previous $40-million forecast.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies