CALGARY, Oct. 12 /CNW/ - (TSX - MTL.UN) The Mullen Group Income Fund
("Mullen" and/or the "Fund") announced today that it will be initiating
temporary lay-offs at several of its wholly-owned business units due to the
uncertainty relating to oil and natural gas drilling activity in western
"The number of drilling rigs working in Alberta continues to decline
which is having a direct impact on several of our oilfield service business
units. Natural gas drilling activity has been in decline for the past year due
to lower natural gas prices which is quite typical for a cyclical industry.
However, many of our oil and gas customers have made it clear that they intend
on reducing their capital investments in Alberta if the recently announced oil
and gas royalty proposal, known as "Our Fair Share" is implemented. And in
fact we have already seen demand for our services decline since the
September 18, 2007 announcement," stated Murray Mullen, Chairman and CEO.
"There is no doubt that if the royalty changes proposed are implemented
by the Province of Alberta the oil and gas service industry, and the hard
working employees that generate their livelihood from the industry, will bear
an unfair burden of these changes. Today we have announced that up to 100 of
our employees will be given temporary lay-off notices. This is a very
unpleasant part of my job but the fact is that investment in the Alberta oil
and natural gas drilling industry is already being curtailed. I can only hope
that Premier Stelmach and the members of the Alberta Legislature balance the
need for increasing the Province's royalty take with the need to attract
continued investment in the oil and natural gas industry. If they find the
right balance these lay-offs may only be temporary and we can get our
employees back to work," added Murray Mullen.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are
subject to risk factors associated with the oil and gas business and the
overall economy. The Fund believes that the expectations reflected in this
press release are reasonable, but results may be affected by a variety of
variables. The Fund relies on litigation protection for "forward-looking"
Mullen is an open-ended income fund that owns a network of independently
operated businesses. Today the Mullen Group is recognized as the largest
provider of specialized transportation and related services to the oil and
natural gas industry in western Canada and as one of the leading suppliers of
trucking and logistics services in Canada - two sectors of the economy in
which the Fund has strong business relationships and industry leadership.
Administration of the Fund is delegated to Mullen Group Inc. which, in
addition to managing the Fund, provides management and financial expertise,
technology and systems support to its independent businesses.
Mullen is a publicly traded income trust listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol "MTL.UN". Additional information is available on our
website at www.mullen-group.com.
For further information:
For further information: Mr. Murray K. Mullen - Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, Mr. Stephen H. Lockwood - President and Co-Chief Executive
Officer, P.O. Box 87, 1 Maple Leaf Road, Aldersyde, Alberta, Canada, T0L 0A0,
Tel: (403) 652-8888, Fax: (403) 601-8301