Trican Well Service Ltd. (“Trican” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce its first quarter results for 2018 and announces its second half 2018 capital program. The following news release should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis, the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and related notes of Trican for the three months ended March 31, 2018, as well as the Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2017. The documents described above are available on SEDAR at


  • Consolidated revenue from continuing operations for Q1 2018 was $306.7 million, an increase of 105% compared to Q1 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 for the quarter was $54.9 million, which is net of $8.6 million expenses for stainless steel fluid ends1, compared to $26.0 million in Q1 2017, which had no charges for fluid ends1.
  • Net loss from continuing operations for the quarter was $28.4 million (Q1 2017 – net loss of $48.9 million).
  • Loss in the quarter on the Company's Investments in Keane of $54.4 million (Q1 2017 – loss of $52 million) primarily due to the decrease in Keane’s share price to US$14.80 per share at March 31, 2018 (December 31, 2017 – US$19.01 per share).
  • The acquisition of Canyon, combined with an increase in fracturing intensity led to significant growth in the volume of proppant pumped this quarter, increasing 106% when compared to Q1 2017.
  • In Q1 2018, approximately 83% of Trican’s revenue came from customers focused on oil or liquids rich gas plays, whereas 17% came from customers focused on dry gas plays. (Q1 2017 - oil and liquids rich gas plays: 70% of revenue; dry gas wells: 30% of revenue).
  • During Q1 2018, the Company purchased and cancelled 7,781,100 common shares at a weighted average price per share of $3.69 under the Normal Course Issuer Bid (“NCIB”).  Since the inception of the NCIB, the Company has purchased and cancelled 18,593,589 common shares at a weighted average price per share of $3.89.

First quarter financial results improved dramatically from the same period in 2017. Some of the key factors positively affecting the first quarter 2018 results include higher activity levels, as evidenced by the volume of proppant pumped, the acquisition of Canyon, and significantly improved services pricing.


  Three months ended
($ millions, except per share amounts; total proppant pumped1 (thousands); internally sourced proppant pumped1 (thousands); total job count1; and HHP1 (thousands); (unaudited)   March 31, 2018   March 31, 2017   December 31, 2017
Revenue $306.7 $149.4 $280.5
Gross profit   38.9   17.8   30.7
Adjusted EBITDA1   54.9   26.0   47.0
Net income / (loss)   (28.4)   (48.9)   17.2
  Per share – basic ($0.08) ($0.25) $0.05
  Per share – diluted ($0.08) ($0.25) $0.05
Total proppant pumped (tonnes)1   484   235   397
Internally sourced proppant pumped (tonnes)1   263   130   281
Total job count1   3,943   3,554   2,909
Hydraulic Pumping Capacity:   672   424   680
  Active crewed HHP1   433   254   455
  Active, maintenance/not crewed HHP1   162   59   114
  Parked HHP1   77   111   111
($ millions) As at March 31, 2018 As at December 31, 2017
Cash and cash equivalents $4.6 $12.7
Working capital1 $212.6 $148.8
Current portion of loans and borrowings $21.0 $20.4
Long-term loans and borrowings $84.8 $83.3
Total assets $1,441.6 $1,506.2


Despite weak AECO1 natural gas prices, strong oil and NGL pricing could result in incremental oilfield services activity during the second half of 2018. In the short term we anticipate customers will continue to exercise caution before they increase their capital expenditure plans. We are encouraged by the increase in most of our customers’ cash flows and are positioning the Company to increase our active fleet if our customers increase their capital programs. 

While our fracturing equipment is fully committed from June until September, we do not anticipate third quarter fracturing utilization levels to reach those experienced in the third quarter of 2017. Weak AECO pricing has shifted customer spending away from natural gas completions, and towards oil and NGL completions activity such as the East Duvernay and other more exploratory liquids rich plays. This shift will result in more single well hydraulic fracturing jobs in Q3 2018 relative to Q3 2017, which activity was weighted to high intensity multi-well pad hydraulic fracturing jobs.

Third quarter demand for our fracturing fleets exceeds our capacity of active crewed fracturing equipment and we are in the process of adding one more fracturing fleet to meet this demand. Improving fundamentals for oil and NGLs has resulted in early stage customer interest beyond this additional crew.  Therefore, we intend to activate all of our idled fracturing equipment during the second half of 2018. Activating all of our idled fracturing equipment in advance of hiring crews will allow the Company to more efficiently service our existing customers by having additional equipment rotating through our fleet. Additionally, we will have the flexibility to increase the number of fleets more rapidly should customer demand materialize. The cost related to these reactivations was previously planned in our first half 2018 capital program and remains at $3 to $4 million dollars for all parked fracturing equipment.

For Q4 2018, one half of our fracturing fleets remain hard committed with long-term customers. The remaining fleets are soft committed to customers based on their Q4 2018 well completion plans. We anticipate these soft committed arrangements will be firmed up due to the aforementioned improving customers’ cash flows.  

2018 second half activity for our cementing service line will remain strong and similar to last year.  Strong demand for our coil services should result in the Company activating two additional coiled tubing units from our existing available idled equipment.

Second quarter activity levels are usually difficult to predict given the nature of operational challenges that result during spring break-up1. Predicting our activity levels during Q2 2018 will be even more challenging given the high snow fall levels1 in a number of our operating regions, which could prolong road bans and other seasonal operating challenges. Notwithstanding potential second quarter seasonal challenges, the Company has customers assigned for each of its hydraulic fracturing crews starting in June and approximately 25% of its hydraulic fracturing crews will work through April and May.  We do not anticipate Q2 2018 activity to be as strong as last year due to a weaker spot market, which is primarily a result of the aforementioned Q2 2018 weather challenges.   

Pricing for the remainder of 2018 is expected to remain comparable to first quarter pricing levels.   We have seen some inflation on transportation charges for sand delivery, trucking, fuel, and certain chemicals. We will work with our clients to pass on cost increases during the second half of the year.  

Capital Expenditures

The Company’s 2018 capital expenditure program is now projected to be $70 million for the full year, an increase of $37 million from the previously disclosed $33 million first half of 2018 capital program.  The incremental capital program for the full year is comprised of the following:

  • Additional Growth Capital1: $19 million
  • Additional Maintenance Capital1: $17 million
  • Additional Infrastructure and other Capital1: $1 million

Growth capital primarily relates to the addition of sand storage equipment and other equipment required to service our clients as the type of work moves to larger completion activities.  Maintenance capital expenditures are anticipated to be consistent in the second half of 2018 relative to the first half. The Company has seen an increase in maintenance capital expenditures as the intensity of hydraulic fracturing increases; however, this increase was anticipated and reflected in our current pricing levels.


($ thousands, except total job count1, and revenue per job, unaudited)              
    March 31, % of March 31, % of December 31, % of
Three months ended   2018 Revenue   2017 Revenue   2017 Revenue
Revenue $306,719 100% $149,403 100% $280,495 100%
Cost of sales            
  Cost of sales – other   238,111 78%   117,212 78%   218,420 78%
  Cost of sales – depreciation and amortization   29,729 10%   14,366 10%   31,330 11%
  Gross profit   38,879 13%   17,825 12%   30,743 11%
  Administrative expenses – other   15,834 5%   9,519 6%   17,874 6%
  Administrative expenses - depreciation   814 -%   888 1%   371 -%
  Asset impairment   - -%   - -%   6,523 2%
  Other (income)/expenses   357 -%   (1,935) (1%)   -  
Results from operating activities   21,874 7%   9,359 6%   5,975 2%
  Finance income   - -%   (926) (2%)   (2,148) (1%)
  Finance costs   2,771 1%   3,728 2%   4,212 2%
  Loss/(gain) on investments in Keane   54,446 18%   51,997 35%   (20,651) (7%)
  Foreign exchange (gain)/loss   (5,377) (2%)   (1,231) (1%)   399 -%
(Loss)/profit before income tax   (29,966) (10%)   (44,215) (30%)   24,163 9%
Income tax expense / (recovery)   (1,554) (1%)   4,637 3%   10,161 4%
(Loss)/profit from continuing operations ($28,412) (9%) ($48,852) (33%) $14,002 5%
Adjusted EBITDA1 $54,850 18% $26,030 17% $46,990 17%
Total job count1   3,943     3,554     2,909  
Revenue per job1   77,247     41,601     96,354  
Total proppant pumped (tonnes)1   484,000     235,000     397,000  

1 Certain financial measures in this news release – namely adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA percentage and working capital are not prescribed by IFRS and are considered non-GAAP measures. These measures may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers and should not be viewed as a substitute for measures reported under IFRS. These financial measures are reconciled to IFRS measures in the Non-GAAP Disclosures section of this news release. Other non-standard measures and common industry terms are also described in the Non-Standard Measures section of the this news release.


Certain terms in this news release, including adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA percentage and working capital, do not have any standardized meaning as prescribed by IFRS and, therefore, are considered non-GAAP measures and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.  This news release does not discuss previously used non-GAAP measures Operating Income and Adjusted Operating Income.  The non-GAAP measures used in this news release, combined with IFRS measures, are currently the most appropriate measures for reviewing and understanding the Company’s financial results.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP term and has been reconciled to profit / (loss) for the financial periods, being the most directly comparable measure calculated in accordance with IFRS. Management relies on adjusted EBITDA to better translate historical variability in our principal business activities into future forecasts.  By isolating incremental items from net income, including income / expense items related to how the Company chooses to manage financing elements of the business, management can better predict future financial results from our principal business activities. The items included in this calculation have been specifically identified as they are either non-cash in nature, subject to significant volatility between periods, and / or not relevant to our principle business activities. Items adjusted in the non-GAAP calculation of adjusted EBITDA, are as follows:

  • non-cash expenditures, including depreciation, amortization, and impairment expenses; and equity-settled stock based compensation;
  • consideration as to how we chose to generate financial income and incur financial expenses, including foreign exchange expenses, and gains/losses on Investments in Keane;
  • taxation in various jurisdictions;
  • transaction costs, as this cost is subject to significant volatility between periods and is dependent on the Company making significant acquisitions and divestitures which may be less reflective, and/or useful in segregating, for the purposes of evaluating the Company’s ongoing financial results;
  • Costs resulting for payment of the legal claims made against the Company as they can give rise to significant volatility between periods that are less likely to correlate with changes in the Company’s activity levels; and
  • Costs that result from the significant changes in employee levels. This is particularly prevalent from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017 due to the decrease in the employee count from 6,741 employees on January 1, 2015 to 2,067 employees on December 31, 2017.  
($ thousands; unaudited) Three months ended
  March 31, 2018 March 31, 2017 December 31, 2017
Profit/ (loss) from continuing operations (IFRS financial measure) ($28,412) ($48,852) $14,002
  Cost of sales - depreciation and amortization   29,729   14,366   31,330
  Administrative expenses - depreciation   814   888   371
  Income tax expense/(recovery)   (1,554)   4,637   10,161
  Loss/(gain) on Investments in Keane   54,446   51,997   (20,651)
  Finance loss/(income)   -   (926)   (13)
  Finance costs   2,771   3,728   4,212
  Asset impairment   -   11   6,512
  Foreign exchange (gain)/loss   (5,377)   (1,231)   399
  Other expense/(income)   357   (1,935)   (2,148)
  Administrative expenses - transaction costs   -   1,862   747
  Administrative expenses - amortization of debt issuance costs   683   652   677
  Administrative expenses - equity-settled share-based compensation   1,393   843   1,365
Adjusted EBITDA $54,850 $26,030 $46,990

Adjusted EBITDA %

Adjusted EBITDA % is determined by dividing adjusted EBITDA by revenue from continuing operations.  The components of the calculation are presented below:

($ thousands; unaudited) Three months ended
  March 31,2018 March 31,2017 December 31,2017
Adjusted EBITDA $54,850 $26,030 $46,990
Revenue $306,719 $149,403 $280,495
Adjusted EBITDA %   18%   17%   17%

Working Capital

Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities, excluding cash and current portion of loans and borrowings. Management believes working capital is a useful supplemental measure as it aligns items that are adjustments to operating activities in the statement of cash flows which aids users in understanding changes in cash flows from operating activities. By calculating working capital, and changes in working capital, the Company is able to better monitor its ability to meet its short term obligations.

($ thousands; unaudited) March 31,2018 December 31,2017
Current assets $339,769 $292,082
Less: cash and cash equivalents   (4,565)   (12,739)
Current liabilities   (143,615)   (150,942)
Less: current portion of loans and borrowings     20,976   20,408
Working capital $212,565 $148,809

Other Non-Standard Financial Terms

In addition to the above non-GAAP financial measures, this news release makes reference to the following non-standard financial terms.  These terms may differ and may not be comparable from similar terms used by other companies.

Transaction costs

Transaction costs and/or Trican acquisition costs are costs incurred to complete a transaction in subsequent integration, including costs to assist in evaluating and completing the acquisition of Canyon, including legal, advisory, accounting related fees, and severance costs that directly relate to the transaction.

Revenue per job

Calculation is determined based on total revenue from continuing operations divided by total job count.  This calculation may fluctuate based on both pricing, sales mix and method with which the customer requests its invoices.

Common Industry Terms

Common Business Terms:

AECO   The CDN$ Alberta natural gas price traded on the Natural Gas Exchange. The price is generally quoted per thousand cubic feet of natural gas (MCF).
WTI   The US$ quoted price on the New York Stock Exchange for West Texas Intermediate crude oil is a trading classification of crude oil and a benchmark in oil prices. The price is generally quoted per barrel (bbl).
Rig count   The estimated average number of drilling rigs operating in the WCSB at a specified time reported in this news release as annual and quarterly averages, sourced from Nickles Daily Oil Bulletin.
Spring break-up   In the WCSB during the spring season, provincial governments and rural municipalities (or counties) ban heavy equipment from roads to prevent damage. It becomes difficult, and in some cases impossible, to continue to work during this period and therefore activity in the oilfield is often reduced.
High snowfall levels   High snowfall levels are measured by comparing November through April snow fall levels in Grande Prairie compared to the average for that time frame (source: Data compiled by management from information included on The Weather Network, shows snow levels approximately 20% above historical average).  The ultimate effect of the high seasonal snowfall levels on Q2 activity levels will be dependent on a number of incremental factors which cannot be predicted as of the date of this news release.
Fluid end   Hydraulic fracturing pumpers have a multiplex pump that pressurizes fracturing fluid for transfer down the wellbore.  The multiplex pump consists of a power end and a fluid end.  The power end houses a crankshaft that is connected to a spacer block that contains connecting rods that drive the individual plungers contained in the fluid end.  The abrasive sand and fluid mixture is pumped through the fluid end at pressures of up to 15,000 pound-force per square inch (PSI), or 103 megapascals (MPA), which will cause wear on the fluid end.  It is a modular unit that can be replaced independent of the power end and spacer block.  As a result of the change in estimated useful life, effective December 2017, fluid ends were no longer capitalized to property plant and equipment or expensed as cost of sales - depreciation. Expenses related to fluid ends are now expensed as part of cost of sales – other.
Company Specific Industry Terms:    
Proppant   A solid material, typically sand, treated sand or man-made ceramic materials, designed to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open during and following a fracturing treatment.
Total Proppant Pumped   The Company uses this as one measure of activity levels of hydraulic fracturing activity.  The correlation of proppant pumped to Pressure Pumping activity may vary in the future depending upon changes in fracturing intensity, weight of proppant used, and job mix.
Internally Sourced Proppant Pumped   Certain of the Company’s customers purchase proppant directly from third party suppliers.  As the Company does not generate revenue from selling proppant to these customers, this metric assists in evaluating changing job mix with changing revenue levels.
Total Job count   A job is essentially represented by an invoice.  The frequency of invoices may differ as to how often the customer requests to be billed during a project. Additionally, the size and scope of a job can impact the length of time and cost on a job. Therefore, a job can vary greatly in time and expense.
HHP   Hydraulic horse power which is generally the measure of an individual hydraulic fracturing pump and a company’s hydraulic fracturing fleet size.
Hydraulic Pumping Capacity   Refers to the total available HHP in the Trican hydraulic fracturing fleet.  The figures are presented in both the average available during the given period and the HHP available at the end of a specified period.
Active crewed HHP   Represents the total HHP that Trican has been activated or is currently operating.  This figure is presented as at the end of a specified period.
Active, maintenance/not crewed HHP   This is fracturing equipment that is in the periodic maintenance cycle, which includes equipment that has completed a routine maintenance period and is ready for work, but no available crew is available to operate the equipment.
Parked HHP   Fracturing equipment that is not included in the Active Crewed HHP category or the Active, Maintenance/not crewed HHP category and would require minimal reactivation costs to move into the Active Crewed HHP category.
Period average active, crewed HHP   Fracturing equipment that has, on average, been active and crewed for the period.
Growth capital   Capital expenditures primarily for items that will expand our revenue and/or reduce our expenditures through operating efficiencies.
Maintenance capital   Capital expenditures primarily for the replacement or refurbishment of worn out equipment.
Infrastructure capital   Capital expenditures primarily for the improvement of operational and base infrastructure. 
WCSB   Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (an oil and natural gas producing area of Canada generally considered to cover a region from south west Manitoba to northeast BC). 


Certain statements contained in this document constitute forward-looking information and statements (collectively "forward-looking statements"). These statements relate to future events or our future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "achieve", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "plan", "planned", and other similar terms and phrases. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. We believe the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this document should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this document.

In particular, this document contains forward-looking statements pertaining to, but not limited to, the following:

  • anticipated industry activity levels in jurisdictions where the Company operates, as well as expectations regarding our customers’ work programs, capital expenditure plans, business plans and equipment utilization levels;
  • expectations regarding proppant usage and sand loading levels;
  • anticipated adjustments to our active equipment fleet, and related adjustments to cost structure;
  • expectations regarding the Company’s cost structure;
  • expectations regarding future maintenance costs;
  • anticipated pricing and customer allocation for fracturing services including the timing and extent to which increased input costs will be passed on to customers;
  • expectations regarding the Company’s equipment utilization levels and demand for our services for 2018;
  • expectations regarding capital expenditure spending for 2018 and that capital expenditure spending levels have been reflected in our current pricing levels;
  • expectations regarding the Company’s financial results, working capital levels, liquidity and profits;
  • expectations regarding the quantity of proppant pumped per well;
  • expectations regarding pricing of the Company’s services;
  • expectations that certain items such as transaction costs will be useful in future predictions of earnings
  • expectations that adjusted EBITDA will help predict future earnings
  • expectations regarding the timing, value and realized cash flow from the Investments in Keane;
  • anticipated ability of the Company to meet foreseeable funding requirements;
  • expectations surrounding weather and seasonal slowdowns; and
  • expectations regarding the impact of new accounting standards and interpretations not yet adopted.

Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the risk factors set forth below and in the “Risk Factors” section of our Annual Information Form dated March 29, 2018:

  • volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas;
  • liabilities inherent in oil and natural gas operations;
  • competition from other suppliers of oil and gas services;
  • competition for skilled personnel;
  • changes in income tax laws or changes in other laws and incentive programs relating to the oil and gas industry; and
  • changes in political, business, military and economic conditions in key regions of the world.

Readers are cautioned that the foregoing lists of factors are not exhaustive. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of factors and assumptions which have been used to develop such statements and information but which may prove to be incorrect. Although management of Trican believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements or information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because Trican can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be identified in this document, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: crude oil and natural gas prices; the impact of increasing competition; the general stability of the economic and political environment; the timely receipt of any required regulatory approvals;  the Company's ability to continue its operations for the foreseeable future and to realize its assets and discharge its liabilities and commitments in the normal course of business; industry activity levels; Trican's policies with respect to acquisitions; the ability of Trican to obtain qualified staff, equipment and services in a timely and cost efficient manner; the ability to operate our business in a safe, efficient and effective manner; the ability of Trican to obtain capital resources and adequate sources of liquidity; the performance and characteristics of various business segments; the regulatory framework; the timing and effect of pipeline, storage and facility construction and expansion; and future commodity, currency, exchange and interest rates.

The forward-looking statements contained in this document are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as required by applicable law.

Additional information regarding Trican including Trican’s most recent Annual Information Form is available under Trican’s profile on SEDAR (


The Company will host a conference call on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. MT (12:00 p.m. ET) to discuss the Company’s results for the 2018 First Quarter.

To listen to the webcast of the conference call, please enter in your web browser or visit the Investors section of our website at and click on “Reports”.

To participate in the Q&A session, please call the conference call operator at 1-844-358-9180 (North America) or 478-219-0187 (outside North America) 15 minutes prior to the call's start time and ask for the “Trican Well Service Ltd. First Quarter 2018 Earnings Results Conference Call”.

The conference call will be archived on Trican’s website at

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Trican provides a comprehensive array of specialized products, equipment and services that are used during the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves.

Requests for further information should be directed to:

Dale Dusterhoft President and Chief Executive OfficerE-mail:

Michael Baldwin Senior Vice President, Corporate Development  E-mail:

Robert SkilnickChief Financial OfficerE-mail:

Phone: (403) 266-0202 Fax: (403) 237-7716 2900, 645 – 7th Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2P 4G8

Please visit our website at

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