Trican Declines After Cutting Workforce, Suspending Dividend

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Trican Well Service Ltd. is reducing its workforce by a third and suspending its dividend, the latest victim of slumping oil prices. Shares of the oil-services company fell the most in more than six years.

Trican cut 2,000 jobs in North America in the first quarter after posting a net loss of C$35.7 million ($29.8 million), the company said Tuesday in a statement. Calgary-based Trican also is in talks to sell its Russian and Kazakhstan pressure-pumping business and is negotiating with lenders to get relief on terms of its loans.

“Low commodity prices forced many of our U.S. customers to reduce or cancel their drilling and completions programs during the first quarter,” the company said in the statement.

Oil-services companies are slashing jobs to cope with declining demand from drillers. Baker Hughes Inc., the oilfield-services company merging with Halliburton Co., has reduced about 17 percent of its workforce in recent months.

Even after the recent rally in oil prices, commodity prices may still be too low to stimulate drilling activity. Exploration and production customers are expected to cut spending by as much as 35 percent in the U.S. if oil prices average $60 a barrel, according to Cowen & Co.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fell 25 cents to settle at $60.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Trican fell 14 percent to C$4.32 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the biggest one-day decline since November 2008.

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