Akita moves another rig to the U.S. as low Canadian pricing hits results

Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

The significant improvement in WTI oil pricing in the third quarter did little to boost the results of Calgary-based Akita Drilling.

The company’s exposure to low Canadian natural gas pricing and the heavy oil price discount reduced its utilization rate, contributing to a net loss of $5.5 million.

This compares to a net loss of $3.8 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Akita, which completed its purchase of Xtreme Drilling in September, now operates a fleet of 40 rigs: 23 in Western Canada and 17 in the U.S.

The company reported 25 percent utilization in Canada in Q3/2018, compared to 88 percent utilization in its U.S. fleet as of Sept. 30.

During the third quarter Akita said it moved a fourth rig from Canada to the U.S. to capitalize on higher drilling levels.

“In the United States, the drilling industry is stronger and more active than in Western Canada,” the company said on Wednesday.

“Akita will evaluate further opportunities to add to the four rigs deployed to the United States Permian market from Canada in 2018 should suitable opportunities allow.“