Precision Drilling sees lower 2013 capital expenditure

Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:47am EST

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Dec 10 (Reuters) - Precision Drilling Corp, Canada's largest oil and gas drilling contractor, expects capital expenditure to almost halve in 2013 as weak natural gas prices slow drilling activity.

The company forecast capital expenditure of C$485 million ($490 million) for 2013. It expects to spend about C$920 million this year.

Precision Drilling, which runs about a quarter of Canada's onshore drilling rigs, said it will decommission 52 lower-tier drilling rigs and exit the Tier 3 contract drilling business. The company said it will take a related charge of between C$180 million and C$200 million in the fourth quarter.

In October Precision Drilling reported a 53 percent drop in third-quarter profit as gas firms cut drilling in the face of weak demand and sliding gas prices.

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