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February 21, 2012

CanElson Drilling Senior Management Addition, Operational Update, and Reporting Date of 2011 Financial Results

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwire – Feb. 21, 2012) – CanElson Drilling Inc. (“CanElson” or the “Company”) (TSX:CDI) announced today a management addition, an update to the Corporation’s ongoing rig construction program and that it expects to announce its 2011 year-end financial results on March 12, 2012 before markets open.

Mr. Ronald P. Barmby, P.Eng, M.Eng, has joined CanElson as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Ron’s lifelong experience in the oil business began as a roughneck at age eighteen and developed into a unique and diversified global career in drilling, completions, exploration, production, and corporate executive leadership. Most recently he was the senior executive in charge of all geological, geophysical, and engineering functions for a successful private company exploring in Turkmenistan and The Gambia. Previous to that he held several senior executive and technical roles in domestic and international public exploration and production companies, with operations spanning the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Australia, and North America. In addition to many international drilling assignments, Ron’s drilling credentials include Drilling & Completions Manager of Amerada Hess Canada. He brings to CanElson a 34 year track record of excellence in Safety, Health, and Environment, culminating in a First Nation and Alberta Government nomination for the prestigious Emerald Award for environmental excellence. He has earned both a Bachelor (1978) and Master (1982) degrees in Petroleum Engineering from the U of A, and has published and presented at many conferences globally, including innovative drill bit design technologies.

CanElson recently completed construction and deployed a telescoping double drilling rig (vertically rated to 4,400 metres) to west Texas under long-term contract. CanElson’s previously announced next new build telescoping double drilling rig (vertically rated to 4,400 metres) is contracted and will be deployed in April 2012 to west Texas. CanElson expects current market conditions support further rig builds but will continue to prudently look for customer commitments to back new rig builds. CanElson has ordered long lead items for an incremental new build telescoping double drilling rig which will be fully constructed and deployed subject to customer commitments as early as June 2012.

CanElson is an Alberta, Canada corporation that is engaged in the manufacture, acquisition, operation and sale of drilling rigs into business relationships involving the Corporation for the oil and gas industry. The Corporation currently operates in the western Canadian sedimentary basin (the “WCSB”), the United States and Mexico. The Corporation’s WCSB operations are currently focused in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The United States operations are currently focused in the Permian Basin of West Texas and North Dakota. The Corporation’s Mexico operations are conducted through a joint venture Company, Diavaz CanElson de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (“DCM” or the “Joint Venture”), of which CanElson holds a 50% ownership interest, and is currently focused in the Ebano-Panuco-Cacalilao fields of the Misantla-Tampico Basin of Mexico. At the date of this press release, CanElson was operating 36 rigs: 21 drilling rigs in the WCSB, 7 (net: 6) drilling rigs in Texas, 4 drilling rigs in North Dakota, 2 (net: 1) drilling rigs and 2 (net: 1) service rigs in the Misantla-Tampico Basin of Mexico. The Corporation’s owned drilling rig fleet had an average age of less than 5 years, an average total vertical depth rating of 4,000 metres and all rigs are capable of drilling horizontal and resource play wells.


This press release contains certain statements or disclosures relating to CanElson that are based on the expectations of CanElson as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to CanElson which may constitute forward-looking information under applicable securities laws. In particular, this press release makes reference to the deployment of a drilling rig to west Texas in April 2012 and that CanElson expects current market conditions to support further rig builds, including the expectation to deploy a drilling rig as early as June 2012, all of which statements contain forward looking information. Many factors could cause the performance or achievement by CanElson to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward looking information. CanElson’s Annual Information Form and other documents filed with securities regulatory authorities (accessible through the SEDAR website describe the risks, material assumptions and other factors that could influence actual results and which are incorporated herein by reference. CanElson disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be expressly required by applicable securities laws.


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