Total Energy Services focusing on U.S. operations as Canadian market remains ‘stagnant’

Image: Deborah Jaremko/JWN

Calgary-based drilling provider Total Energy Services has increased its spending plans for 2018, but the extra money isn't pegged for its Canadian operations.

Instead Total says it will spend more to support operations in the United States and Australia, increasing its capital budget to $48 million from $33 million.

“Oil and natural gas drilling and completion activity continues to recover in the markets in which Total Energy competes with the exception of Canada, where unique market challenges have resulted in stagnant activity levels. In this environment, the company remains focused on the continued growth of its international businesses and strong cost management within Canadian operations,” Total said in its fourth quarter results last week.

“Canadian drilling activity levels have begun the seasonal decline heading into spring break-up, with natural gas producers having already significantly curtailed drilling activity over the past few weeks.”

A large chunk of the increased capital budget – $24 million – is being allocated to continue international expansion and growth of Total’s compression and process services segment.

The company reported a 2017 net loss of $3.7 million, down from its net loss of $11.91 million in 2016. However, in the fourth quarter Total generated earnings of $6.55 million, swinging into the black from a loss of $3.67 million during 2016.