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CALGARY — Calfrac Well Services Ltd. is reporting a sharply deeper loss on lower revenue as demand for its oil and gas well completion services slumped in the first quarter.

The Calgary-based company’s net loss jumped to $123 million or 85 cents a share in the three months ended March 31 from a loss of $36 million or 25 cents in the year-earlier period.

Its first-quarter report, which was delayed under a temporary regulator exemption because of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows that revenue plunged 36 per cent to $305.5 million from $475 million in the same period of 2019.

In a news release, the company says it is continuing to consult financial advisers about alternatives to bolster its balance sheet, a process it confirmed in early June after a sudden jump in its share price.

Calfrac operates in Canada, the U.S., Argentina and Russia. It specializes in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, of wells, which involves injecting liquids and chemicals under pressure to break up tight rock formations deep underground to allow trapped oil and gas to be produced.

A slump in drilling activity as energy demand falls due to measures to control the pandemic had forced the company to cut 70 per cent of its North American workforce, park about three-quarters of its equipment, halve capital spending plans and reduce salaries for management, directors and remaining staff.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CFW)

The Canadian Press

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