Calgary-based Trinidad Drilling to slash capital budget, cut spending

CALGARY -- Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (TSX:TDG) has chopped its initial capital spending budget for 2016 to $30 million -- 84 per cent less than what it's spending this year -- to reflect weak conditions in the oil and gas industry.

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The Calgary-based company says it's primarily aiming to maintain Trinidad's current operations, although it may be able to spend as much as $45 million if certain growth opportunities arise -- still 76 per cent below 2015 levels.

As of Sept. 30, Trinidad had spent $113.6 million on capital projects over the first nine months of 2015 and had a full-year budget of $185 million.

Trinidad Drilling says it's continuing to look for cost reductions at its operations and corporate offices.

It says general and administrative costs in are expected to be cut by a further 10 to 15 per cent in 2016, on top of a 30 per cent reduction in 2015 from levels anticipated early in the year.

So far, its workforce has been cut by half since the beginning of 2015 -- mostly in the field -- and the company has reduced wages, salaries, director fees and dividends.

"We have assumed that existing conditions remain in place for 2016 and we have cut back spending and lowered our cost structure in order to manage through this downturn," Lyle Whitmarsh, Trinidad's chief executive officer, said in a statement.



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