Savanna Energy Services Corp.

Savanna Energy Services Corp.

June 07, 2013 11:11 ET

Savanna Energy Services Corp. Announces Rig Additions for Australia and Capital Program Update

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 7, 2013) -

New Rigs for Australia:

Savanna Energy Services Corp. ("Savanna" or the "Company") (TSX:SVY) is pleased to announce that we have entered into a long term drilling rig contract to deploy an additional hybrid drilling rig to Queensland, Australia. Savanna will provide ancillary equipment and services to coincide with the drilling services. The contract is based on a 365 day (24 hour) take or pay basis for a term of three years. Savanna has also entered into a similar three year contract to supply an additional workover rig to the same customer. These equipment additions will bring Savanna's fleet in Australia to 10 rigs, 5 drilling and 5 workover.

The drilling rig will be a newly built proprietary international hybrid drilling rig. This rig is capable of drilling with coiled tubing or conventional drill pipe utilizing an integrated top drive based on the hybrid platform pioneered by Savanna. The rig is targeted to commence operations in Australia in December 2013. The workover rig is expected to begin operations in Q2, 2014.

Savanna's proprietary hybrid platform has proven itself to be highly efficient drilling vehicle and is demonstrating its ability to improve the economics of drilling in Australia. The Australian coal seam gas (CSG) drilling and workover market is continuing to mature and expand, and Savanna expects activity levels to continue increasing for the next several years.

Savanna is currently operating four of its hybrid drilling rigs in Australia along with four specialized workover rigs and other ancillary equipment. The latest rig additions were awarded outside of the common tendering process in Australia, which Savanna believes is reflective of the growing acceptance of Savanna's capabilities and relationships in the market.

Capital Update:

In light of the contract award Savanna is also updating its capital program for 2013. Savanna previously outlined a capital program for 2013, including capital maintenance and long-lead items for future rig builds, of $107 million. Below is an update on this budget, increasing the 2013 capital budget to $118 million:

(Stated in thousands
of dollars)
to Date
- 2013
Maintenance, recertifications & upgrades 40,000 (9,900) 4,000 (1) 34,100
Spare equipment & drillpipe 20,000 (6,800) 1,500 14,700
Australia - drilling/workover/rental equipment 8,000 (4,200) 16,500 (2) 20,300
Long-lead items for drilling (excl.Australia) 18,000 (200) (11,000) (3) 6,800
North Dakota workover rigs 4,000 (3,300) - 700
Expansion capital for rentals and oilfield services 17,000 (6,700) (4,000) (4) 6,300
Corporate capital - (3,700) 4,000 (5) 300
2012 Carryover - (2,300) - 500
Totals 107,000(6) 37,100 11,000 (6) 83,700
  1. Represents estimated engineering and retrofit costs to transfer up to 8 workover rigs to North Dakota and to upgrade depth capacity of 1 Canadian drilling rig.
  2. Represents incremental capital to manufacture and deliver 1 international hybrid drilling rig, 1 high-specification workover rig and associated spare, ancillary and trucking assets to Australia.
  3. Represents deferral of long-lead spend based on expected timing of award of tenders Savanna is currently participating in.
  4. Represents reduction in estimated capital expansion in rental assets in 2013 relative to previous estimates.
  5. Represents down payment on land for future Leduc, Alberta drilling and workover facility and corporate capital additions.
  6. Total 2013 approved capital budget to date = $118,000.

Operations Update:

A heavy snowpack and ongoing wet weather in many of Savanna's core operating areas in Canada have constrained the re-start of activity post-spring break-up. In the United States, however, activity levels have remained much more consistent, with minimal reduction in overall activity in our core markets. Australian activity has continued to accelerate through the quarter.

Activity in North America in the second half of 2013 remains uncertain but has become increasingly more positive as 2013 unfolds in all Savanna markets. Savanna's relatively strong contract position in the United States and Australia should ensure stable activity in those markets. In Canada activity levels will have a greater impact on Savanna performance due to a lower contract status on our fleet. Savanna has participated in numerous drilling rig tenders for Canada and the United States over the past few months and will further update our capital program based on the results of these tenders, if, as or when they are announced. In addition, several rig tenders, both drilling and workover, for Australia remain active which could also result in an expansion of Savanna's authorized capital for 2013. It is our expectation that awarding of most of these tenders is likely to be deferred until 2014.

While Savanna operates a fleet very well suited to current and projected high activity sectors of all markets it serves, the Company is also committed to increasing its drilling rig depth and operating capacity in order to continue expanding the Company's product offering for its customers. The Company will design, commission and operate equipment aligned to our position as a sustainable, profitable oilfield service provider. In the context of an uncertain North American market for drilling and workover services, we have approved a capital budget providing for growth and expansion in our key markets, recognizing the potential risks to activity levels in the near term. Our capital plans also reflect Savanna's commitment to sustain and grow our current monthly dividend. The Board of Directors reviews our dividend policy quarterly, and is satisfied with current dividend levels.

Savanna is a Canadian-based drilling and oilfield services provider with operations in Canada, United States and Australia, focused on providing fit for purpose equipment and technologies.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements

Certain statements and information contained in this press release including statements related to the Company's expectation of the timing of delivery of new workover or drilling rigs, the expectations of regarding activity levels, utilization, operating margins, and returns from Savanna's operations, the expectation of continued uncertainty in North American activity levels and the Company's ability to mitigate the effect of such, the expectation of a long-term increase in well servicing activity, and statements that contain words such as "could", "should", "can", "anticipate", "expect", "believe", "will", "may", "likely", "estimate", "predict", "potential", "continue", "maintain", "retain", "grow", and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These statements are based on certain assumptions and analysis made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. In particular, the Company's expectation of the timing of delivery of new rigs is premised on current advice from its suppliers on the progress of the rig builds. The Company's expectation of increased activity levels and increased utilization in Savanna's Australian operations is premised on actual results experienced to date in 2013, the contracts in place and communications with its customers in the region, and the general expectation that coal seam gas activity will increase in that country as plans for liquefied natural gas plants move forward. Whether actual results, performance or achievements will conform to the Company's expectations and predictions is subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in the price and demand for oil and natural gas; fluctuations in the level of oil and natural gas exploration and development activities; fluctuations in the demand for well servicing, oilfield rentals and contract drilling; the effects of weather conditions on operations and facilities; the existence of competitive operating risks inherent in well servicing, oilfield rentals and contract drilling; general economic, market or business conditions; changes in laws or regulations, including taxation, environmental and currency regulations; the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management; the other risk factors set forth under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" in the Company's Annual Report and under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form; and other unforeseen conditions which could impact on the use of services supplied by the Company.

Consequently, all of the forward-looking information and statements made in this press release are qualified by this cautionary statement and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to or effects on the Company or its business or operations. Except as may be required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking information and statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Savanna Energy Services Corp.
    Ken Mullen
    President & CEO
    (403) 503-9990

    Savanna Energy Services Corp.
    Darcy Draudson
    Executive Vice-President, Finance
    & Chief Financial Officer
    (403) 503-9990

    Savanna Energy Services Corp.
    Dwayne LaMontagne
    Executive Vice-President &
    Chief Development Officer
    (403) 503-9990