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From the oil patch today, there’s another sign of the difficult economic times.

According to the National Post, Calgary-based Precision Drilling Trust, Canada’s largest drilling firm, is slashing its monthly cash distribution for January by more than two-thirds.

It is citing a sharp reduction in {U.S.} rig demand, resulting from the steep decline in energy commodity prices over the past three months.

In a prepared statement the company said today, it will pay unit holders this month, only four cents per trust unit, down from 13 cents in December.

It says it has turned its focus toward stengthening its balance sheet and, addressing debt.

The price of oil was still trading below 40 dollars a barrel, at the end of the trading day yesterday but, it is now up, just over 41 dollars today.

Nevertheless, it remains very volatile and, is still more than 100 dollars a barrel less, than what it was last July.

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