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Precision Drilling Corporation CEO Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Drilling days increased 62% in Canada and 76% in the US while service hours were up 42% over the third quarter of 2009. Abnormally wet weather in Canada restricted rig mobility and operating days for Precision's Canadian drilling and well service operations, otherwise Canadian results would have been meaningfully better.

In the US, the average land rig count for the third quarter of 2010 was 1,590 compared to 927 in the third quarter of 2009. The average rig count in Canada was up 94% with the Q3 2010 at 359 versus 185 in the prior year period.

Combined Precision averaged 176 rigs operating in the third quarter of 2010 versus 130 in the third quarter of 2009. Currently in Canada Precision's active rig count stands at a 119 rigs after averaging 82 during the third quarter. Precision's US and international rig count is currently at 101 after averaging 94 rigs working in US and Mexico during the third quarter.

In the quarter we had 35 rigs working under term contracts in Canada representing 42% of our active Canadian rigs. In the third quarter of 2009 Precision also had 35 rigs working under term contract although it represented 69% of our active rigs in third quarter of 2009. In the US for the third quarter of 2010 we had an average of 53 rigs under term contracts representing 57% of active rigs versus 41 rigs under contract and 77% in the prior year period.

In the third quarter Precision further strengthened its balance sheet. Already $75 million debt repayment in the second quarter, the company made a voluntary debt repayment of $13 million reducing our total debt to $773 million. Net of our $209 million of cash, Precision's net debt position is currently $564 million. Liquidity increased with positive cash flow from operations partially offset by debt reduction and increase in working capital and the addition of CapEx resulting it in a cash increase of $23 million for the quarter.

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