Thursday, July 24, 2008

UPDATE 3-Precision Drilling to ramp up international ops

By Scott Haggett

CALGARY, Alberta, July 23 (Reuters) - Precision Drilling Trust (PD_u.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), now trying to boost its U.S. operations with a $1.8 billion bid for Grey Wolf Inc (GW.A: Quote, Profile, Research), plans a further international expansion beginning in September, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Precision, the biggest Canadian oil and gas driller, reported a 16 percent drop in second-quarter profit on Wednesday as expenses rose. But the drop in profit won't keep the company from expansion plans abroad when a non-compete agreement ends on August 31.

"I would not anticipate any early (merger and acquisition) activity in this expansion," he said.

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